I wonder how many of my readers are too young to even remember that advertising campaign. Twas back in the ’80’s I believe with the premise being that the “new” oldsmobile (looking back at what now would be an antique car lol. Damn, I’m old) was so modern and improved that it was nothing like what your daddy drove and no longer had the stigma of being dowdy and old fashioned.
What the heck does this have to do with food you ask? Whadda ya mean; you didn’t ask?! Why are you here then? So for those of you who ASKED (hmmppphhh to the rest of you). Well, it’s the same with foods. There are some things that get ostracized from the foodie world because they are seen as dowdy and old fashioned. When have you seen a post praising liverwurst/braunschweiger ? or one touting Pickled Herring as the best movie time snack? Once upon a time, both of these things, among many others, were considered delicious every day foods. And while I personally happen to love both, I know I’m in the minority. Foods get pushed aside for the newest trend, a fact I’ve mourned more than once in this blog.
One thing though that seems to have held on through the test of time is potato soup. Oh sure, you can look and find some strange ones that use truffle oil and caviar or ones that have the calorie count required by an amoeba as well as the taste of a piece of cardboard. But good old fashioned creamy potato soup seems to be loved by most. There are a few weirdos out there but they also ate school paste as kids and we won’t count them. Their taste buds are still glued together.
But even the old can be made better (other than Joan Rivers and Meg Ryans plastic surgery attempts; there are some things that can’t be fixed *shudders*). Witness said Oldsmobile :-P. And you all know me; if it can be changed, I will do it. Not a drastic change mind you; I like continuity and sameness too much. But just enough change to take something that at times can taste like Elmer’s glue (I seem to have a glue/paste fetish going here today. Hmm)
So I played with potato soup today. Ok, that came out wrong but you know what I mean. And I must say, I think I have made some pretty darn delicious soup. It’s thick, creamy, rich without being overwhelming, meaty, chock full of potato flavor with a burst of texture from onions and potato chunks. All in all, I think this will become my standard way of making potato soup. It takes a bit more time than just dumping dry potato flakes in a pot and adding milk (did anyone elses mother do that?), salt and pepper but it’s still very easy. So go buy some taters.You’ll like this. This makes a large pot of soup so cut in half if need be or soup freezes well. Also, I used Bob Evans Brand mashed potatoes; just a personal preference; use your favorite. This recipe is all me btw… just played around with the basic idea of potato soup
Creamy Potato Soup (Worlds Best 😛 )
- 5 medium potatoes, chopped into small pieces (peel or not; your choice. I like the peel)
- 3 cans good quality chicken broth
- 2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup chopped leeks
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 stalked celery, chopped fine
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 lb smoked andouille sausage (I used Aidells brand )
- 8 ounces bacon, cooked and crumbled (go ahead and throw a teaspoon or so of the bacon drippings in there too. I won’t judge.) plus a few extra cooked slices for garnish
- 1 package refrigerator style ready made mashed potatoes (I used the sour cream & chive flavor)
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cubed (I had to laugh when all I had was 1/3 less fat. Don’t think it helped much in this 😛 )
- 8 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded
- 8 to 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 cups half and half
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3 green onions, sliced thin and more for garnish
- extra chicken broth if you prefer a thinner soup
- salt and pepper to taste
- GARNISHES- our cream, bacon, green onions, more cheese
- Combine your chopped potatoes and the 3 cans of chicken broth in a large (preferably non stick) pot. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to a low simmer.
- While potatoes cook, in a large saucepan over low heat, saute the onions, leeks, shallot, celery and garlic. You’re not wanting to brown the veggies, just sweat them out and soften them so keep your heat low. When veggies are nice and tender, dump them into the pot with the potatoes.
- In the same pan you sauteed the veggies in, add the sliced andouille. Turn the heat up to about medium high and cook them until nice and crispy on both sides. Toss them into the pot too making sure to get all the drippings in the pan in there too.
- Add in your bacon (don’t forget to save some for garnish) and the refrigerator mashed potatoes
- Stir well until the mashed potatoes are smooth and let this all simmer together over low heat (keep an eye on this and stir frequently to prevent sticking) for about 30 minutes.
- Â Add in your shredded cheese and the cream cheese. Stir constantly until the cheeses are smoothly incorporated into the soup.
- Add the half and half. Continue cooking the soup just until it’s heated through. You don’t want to bring it back to a boil because that can break down the cream and sour cream and make the soup very unattractive and curdled looking.
- Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with your favorite toppings. We had this served with a buttered dark bread and it was a fantastic, filling EASY meal.