What do you get when you take some potatoes, an onion, some wimpy celery, some water, some milk, and some butter and call it dinner?
Potato Soup of Course!
Measurements don’t really matter too much in this soup. I never measure, but put in what looks right to me. Here’s how I do it.
First peel a whole bunch of potatoes. I have a great big 10 quart pot and a husband and four growing kids to feed; so, I use a lot of potatoes. Use what you have. You should have quite a few potatoes in the pot compared to the other ingredients.
Rinse the peeled potatoes and put them in the pot with water to cover them. Turn the heat on medium-high and bring the water to a boil. I don’t cut up the potatoes because my husband likes the soup chunky. The potatoes will break up on their own when you stir them later.
While the water’s heating, chop up an onion and add it to the pot. I use a couple of small onions or one large onion. Just think about your family’s tastes and add accordingly. You can also add some minced garlic at this time, according to taste. Sometimes I add it; sometimes I don’t.
Clean your celery and chop it up in bite-sized pieces. It’s fine to use some of the leaves, too, if you like them. Again, if you really like celery, add a little more; if not, a little less.
Lastly, don’t forget to add the salt. I probably use a little too much. You really need some for the flavor of the potatoes to be good.
Now, after the soup comes to a boil, turn it down just enough to keep a gentle boil going. Check the potatoes every once in awhile to see if they’re getting soft, just like when you make mashed potatoes. When they’re soft, drain most of the water through a colander into a big bowl. This broth can be used in another soup or to thin your potato soup when you serve the leftovers. It’s really quite tasty to drink as well.
Turn the heat to low. Add a big chunk of butter to the potatoes. I know. It’s not good for you; but, you can use a smaller amount if you like. It just improves the flavor so much. Real butter is best. Stir to break up the potatoes a bit and to help melt the butter.
Add milk, or a combination of milk and cream if fresh is available, until the soup reachs your desired consistency. Stir to break up the potatoes to your desired consistency. I always add pepper at this point as well as a bit more salt. You can add more of the broth as well if you wish.
This is a very forgiving recipe. Use what you have. If you don’t have much milk or cream, use more broth. I only use the cream if I can get fresh from the cow milk and skim the cream myself.
This is one of my survival in tough times recipes. Even a small amount, with a simple homemade biscuit or two will fill a hungry little or big tummy.
A few years ago, life depended on me baking every day and making very simple frugal meals. I find that this way of life is returning for us as well as many families we know. The sweetness of this is that I learned to pray and depend on God ever so much. Whether these are good times or bad times is often dependent on how we look at things and how resourceful we are.