I am so excited! Catherine Crowe is coming to visit! Catherine is an amazing Celtic enameling artist and a beautiful ballad singer. I met her this summer at Augusta Heritage Irish Week, and we stayed in touch on Facebook. That's how I learned that she was coming to Cedar Lakes to teach a Road Scholar class on enameling. We've been emailing back and forth trying to find a time to get together.
What does this have to do with potato soup? I invited Catherine for dinner and since I work all day I thought I'd make something in advance that was simple and would be easy to heat up. With this cool fall weather, soup seemed like a good choice--soup, with cornbread made from the stone-ground meal I bought at Jackson's Mill , a salad, and poached pears with vanilla gelatto and drizzled with our honey for dessert. Add wine, good coffee and conversation. Stir well. Should serve three comfortably.
Here's the soup recipe. Talk about easy!
Peel and cut up about 4 cups of potatoes. You don't have to peel, of course, but I did.
Dice 3 stalks of celery and one or two onions. I'm not sure how much I used because I used my frozen onions--I put in a little less than half of a quart bag.
Chop up one large clove of garlic, about a teaspoonful.
Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a dutch oven--about a 4-6 quart pan. Add the chopped veggies and saute until the onions are clear.
Cover the sauteed vegetables with boiling water, add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt (optional) and 3 bay leaves (also optional, but I like them). and cook until the potatoes are soft.
At this point you can put the pan in the fridge and finish making the soup the next day, or continue to the next steps.
Here's where you can make some choices. You can put the soup through the blender for smooth soup, mash it with a potato masher for a chunky soup (my preference) or not mash the veggies at all. You can also add some milk to the blended soup and cook to a boil, adding a little more butter and some paprika. Or you can mash with a masher, add the paprika and maybe a little ground black pepper and no milk at all. I chose this last option. In the photo above, I had not yet mashed the soup so the vegetables were still pretty chunky.
Actually, I've made this soup twice in the past day. I made it Sunday night because I thought Catherine was coming tonight perhaps---we had not got it all figured out. I thought I was good to go for tomorrow but when I got home, I found that Larry had eaten a goodly portion of it for lunch! So I made it again. It's so simple it only takes about 10 minutes to chop the vegetables and another 15 or so to cook the soup.
Two other favorite potato soup recipes are potato-dill soup and potato-corn chowder (that is luscious!). I haven't posted the potato-dill soup recipe yet, but you can find the chowder recipe by clicking here. All are perfect for fall and winter meals. Comfort food at its best.