Monday, December 19, 2011

Basic Potato Soup

My sister, Marisa and her roommate, Laura came to our house for Thanksgiving.  To make things easy on me I decided we would have soup and salad on Wednesday night.  The soup could get happy all day in the crockpot and my sister would make layered salad.

The soup turned out so good Laura has been asking for the recipe, so here is what I did...

Peel and cut potatoes into large chunks (about 1/4's of a regular potato) to fill the crockpot about 1/2 to 2/3.
Chop an onion and add to crockpot.
Chop about 3 stalks of celery - you want about 1 c of chopped celery.
Pour in a box of Chicken stock/broth.  This should cover the potatoes, if not add more.
Add salt/pepper. Potatoes need lots of salt, but you don't want to add too much at this point.  Same with the pepper.  Probably about 1/2 tsp of pepper and 1 tsp of salt.
Let cook about 1/2 a day on low.

After cooking that long the potatoes should just want to fall apart.
At this point I puree the lot.  I have a stick blender which I just stick in the crockpot and blend until it looks good.  You can also scoop out portions and puree in the blender/food processor.  If you use the blender/food processor method, be CAREFUL the hot liquid will be steamy and want to push open the lid to the blender!

Just before serving add 1/2-3/4 c. heavy cream and gently stir into the soup.
Add more salt and pepper to taste.

That is basic potato soup.  To this base you can add different items to change things up.  Some possibilities...
1-2 cup grated cheese after the puree
Bacon after the puree
Chopped carrots at the beginning with the celery
Use pork broth/stock instead of chicken
1 c chopped leeks
a couple of crushed garlic cloves at the beginning (they will be pureed later)

It is possible to cook this on the stove and not the crockpot, however, you will need to watch it more carefully.   The low constant temperature of the crockpot cooking for several hours is part of what makes this simple soup so delicious!