Updated: Jan 29
When December blows its icy breath to announce it's arrival my answer is to put on some soup. Nothing gives you that warm & cozy feeling of contentment quite like a good bowl of soup, If you want that extra feeling of special goodness, potato soup is in order.
I don't know why but it took me way too long to become a soup fan. I don't even know if I can explain it but I had no need of soup in my life growing up. I wanted no part of it...in fact, I hated it. The reason I find it hard to explain is because I LOVE the smell of it, always have, but when presented with it, I would sooner starve to death as to take a bite. I've been accused of being rather stubborn, I may resemble that accusation.
Hindsight is 20/20
"There are starving children in this world who'd be glad to have this bowl of soup"
That was the common 'go to' phrase for the many things I refused to eat growing up. My response was always something like "well, I will be glad to ship it to them". I get it now and I just want the world to know that I regret now every single occasion that I turned my nose away from a bowl of delicious goodness. I mean, just look at this. Oh my, be still my beating heart.
What ingredients are needed for this magic?
As far as tools you will only need a good knife, a measuring cup, a whisk, a spoon/ladle, and a crock pot/slow cooker. The ingredients needed and proportions are as follows:
8 cups of peeled and diced potatoes
1/2 cup of diced carrots
1/2 cup of diced celery
Carton of chicken stock or (3 cans of broth (14 1/2 ounce each) - I use a carton of the Swanson's low sodium chicken stock (32 ounce).
10 ounce can of cream of chicken soup (I use Campbell's).
2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 clove of minced garlic
1/2 pounds of cooked bacon & crumbled (buy a pound or more, you'll need the rest)
5 tablespoons of flour (stone ground is best)
1 package of cream cheese (8 ounces)
1 package of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or 2)
A couple of bundles of fresh green onions
How do I cast this spell of comfort?
"I had no idea soup could be this good"
Put the bacon on to cook as you do the chopping. Combine all the ingredients except for the flour and cream cheese, cheddar cheese & green onions into your crockpot/slow cooker. *You may want to add some of the cheddar cheese in while it cooks - that's optional, if you want it extra cheesy. Depending on the size of your slow cooker, you may want to add just a little water - not much, but just enough to cover the ingredients if it looks like it needs covering. It will dilute the stock, which you may want but not too much. You have a couple of options here as far as cooking times; you could cook it on low for 8-10 hours (or until the potatoes are done), or you could cut that time in half by cooking it on high for about 4 hours (or until the potatoes are done). I typically cook it on high and keep a check on the potatoes. Wait until about an hour before you plan to serve, then add the cream cheese and flour. Whisk it in until blended and there are no lumps. If you want it thicker, add a little more flour as you go but be mindful. Remove a little of the soup and add it back in slowly after adding more flour. If you choose this option, add another 20-30 minutes of cooking time.
Now to top it off
I cook the remainder of the bacon before time to serve. When that is done I crumble it up and chop up the green onions into chives. Pour the soup into the bowl(s) and add salt/pepper to taste. All you need to do now is add some shredded cheddar cheese, bacon crumbles, and the onions then you are ready to feast. All that remains is to sit back and watch the expressions on your loved one's faces and listen for the sounds that can only be interpreted as complete satisfaction.
I wish I had known my love of soup sooner but I read somewhere that our taste buds are different in our youth and change as we get older. I believe that as there are many things I didn't care for when I was younger that I now love and crave. I hope you cook up some potato soup for your family & friends and you come to love it as much as I do. It goes well with some homemade cornbread, a slice of tomato and some cucumbers. *cornbread recipe can be found within my blog about 'Beans n cornbread'. Thanks for reading & enjoy! :)