Saturday, November 05, 2011

Meals on Hand: Potato Soup

Last night, I once again found myself looking to my staples and leftovers for a meal idea. Knowing that we had bought ten pounds of potatoes a couple of weeks ago and didn't end up needing them, I figured I should probably find something to do with them before the whole ten pounds goes bad.

Thinking through my fridge, I knew I also had chicken stock, half-and-half, a couple of celery stalks, and some baby carrots. So I decided to go with potato soup. I started with this recipe, just to get a general idea, and here is what I did instead:

  • Melt 4 Tbsp of butter. Add 2 Tbsp of flour and 2 Tbsp finely chopped garlic (we happen to have "squeezable garlic" in our fridge from something Jon made at one point). Stir together and let the mix come to a frothy boil. 
  • Add about 1/4-1/2 cup each finely chopped celery and finely chopped carrots. Cook until veggies are tender.
  • Add 2 cups chicken broth and stir until butter/flour mixture is well incorporated into broth. Add four large potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Let the soup come to a boil, reduce heat, and cover. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups milk (I actually used 1 cup of half-and-half and half a cup of milk, because that's what I had in my fridge) and salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Bring soup just back to a boil. Stir in 1 cup shredded cheese and stir until smooth. Remove from heat. 
And there you have creamy, cheesy potato soup! It would also be easy to add more veggies or some chicken chunks or ground beef - just to give it a little more redeeming nutritional value. This made about 4 servings. Jonny and I each had a bowl, and I put two boxes of it in the freezer. I'm betting it will be even better after freezing and thawing! 

I won't say it was the most amazing soup I've ever had, but it was a good night for soup. And considering I was going off what I had on hand - it was pretty yummy! I made the changes in ingredients (carrots, half-and-half) because that was just what I had on hand. I made the changes in form (butter/flour mixture, potato chunks) because I like chunky potato soup, but still wanted the soup part to have a little body to it. Overall, I was very pleased with the outcome. This meal-on-hand may make further appearances in our menu in the future. 

What meals-on-hand have you made lately?


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