Thursday, September 29, 2011

Autumn means Potato Soup!

I adore potato soup.  It fills you up, warms you up and epitomizes comfort food.  I've tried a variety of recipes for potato soup, and this is one of my favorites.  I typically triple the recipe because my family can eat a bucket of it in one sitting!

Ruby Tuesday's Potato Cheese Soup

2 large russet potatoes
2 T finely minced celery 
1 T finely minced onion
1 T grated carrot
2 c. chicken stock or broth
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. white vinegar
2 T flour
1 1/2 c. milk
1 cup plus 1 T shredded Cheddar cheese

Garnish--shredded Monterey Jack cheese, chopped green onions and crumbled BACON

Some comments from Christina:  when you put cheese in a soup, use the block kind and shred it yourself for a smoother melt.  If you use the pre-shredded kind, it tends to be a little grainier in texture.  Also, it's probably best to use milk with some fat in it (1% or 2%).   We drink skim (fat free), but a little fat always makes a better soup.

1.  Peel the potatoes and chop them into bite-size pieces--you want about four cups.  Chop the celery, onion and carrot into very small pieces (the carrot should be grated, not shredded).  I just put all three into the food processor and pulse it a few times to get them chopped.

2.  Combine veggies with chicken broth, salt and vinegar in a large pot over medium heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Whisk together the flour & milk in a medium bowl.  Stir this into your veggie/broth mixture.  Simmer, uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes until soup has thickened.

4.  Add 1 cup of the cheddar cheese to the soup and simmer until melted.  By this time, the potatoes should be tender and falling apart.  If not, continue to cook until the soup is as thick as you like it.

To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with shredded cheddar and monterey jack cheese, chopped green onions and crumbled bacon.