Sunday, March 25, 2012

Potato Soup

As I get older, I find myself unable to pull words out of my head that I know are in there. It's like my brain is constipated or some such thing. Try not to give that mental image too much thought. Another problem that I have involves not being able to remember what I've mentioned before- thus I may end up telling the same humorous story (or what I think is humorous) to the same people more than once. It's not so bad if they are getting older like me and can't remember if I told it before or not, then they just laugh and forget about it until I tell the same story a month or two later. I guess the point I'm trying to make here is that I can't remember if I've done a blog post on potato soup or not. I've done corn chowder, Mexican Quiche, blueberries and cream muffins and corn flakes vs clown flakes. The bottom line is, I've done over 150 posts in the past few years and there's a good chance I may blog about the same thing more than once. If I do, I hope it at least comes out being entertaining and not just a clone of a previous blog. If, however, it fails to entertain, send me a stamped,self addressed envelope with the words "Money Back" on the outside, and I'll promptly refund any and all cash you may have sent me.
 Several days ago I got a desire to whip up a batch of potato soup. Not just any potato soup, this was the Absolutely Ultimate Potato Soup recipe that I picked up from the Internet years ago when I was in the home-ec class at the high school. It comes from the allrecipes.com  website. I have to admit, it's the best potato soup I've ever had. I shared some with the shipwright and his daughter and got a two thumbs up. It would be hard not  to like it - you use a whole pound of bacon to make it. Also three tablespoons of butter and a cup of heavy cream. I suppose it could also be called Cardiac  Arrest Soup. It's not something that should be eaten more than once or twice a year I would venture to say. I kind of wanted to throw in a little info on potatoes so that if a family member asks you what you're reading you don't get yelled at for wasting valuable time entertaining yourself with my blog when you could be doing something useful. I did a little research and found that potatoes originated in South America somewhere around the 1400's. The Spanish Conquistadors brought them back to Europe where they took hold and became a staple in places like Ireland. The Spanish called them Patatas. By the time the English got ahold of them the name had changed  to potato.I then looked up the Irish Potato Famine on a site called The History Place and got a whole lot more than I bargained for. It was an eye-opening look into human nature covering everything from the foolishness of counting on one resource to support you to religious persecution, greed, indifference to human suffering and good old fashioned politics. I hope if you are so inclined you will check out that web site. It's a bit of history that goes a long way in explaining what caused the famine and the far reaching effects that have helped to shape not just England and Ireland but the North American continent as well. Now on to less serious subjects- like me. I mentioned to a friend in an email that if I ever had a restaurant, I would only serve two items every day. Like chicken breast sandwiches with melted mozzarella and sauteed green peppers and onions on a sesame hoagie roll and maybe Cha Cha potatoes....mmmm...Cha Cha's. Then I started thinking, I could just serve soup- just like the Soup Nazi on the Seinfeld episode. I could offer several indescribably delicious soups like the aforementioned Ultimate Potato Soup, or my fabulous SpicyVegetable with Venison roast or possibly CornChowder. So far, those are the only soups I've made, but I'm sure I could expand my horizons. I might even do like the Soup Nazi did and offer a tasty bread to go with the soup, but be forewarned, one complaint and "No soup for you!"
At the expense of making this post so long you fall asleep mid-way through, I'm going to include the soup recipe for anyone interested. It was submitted to allrecipes.com by someone named Karena. Thanks Karena- if I die from a heart attack with a mouth full of this soup, at least I'll die happy.

 Absolutely Ultimate Potato Soup
Ingredients
1 pound bacon, chopped       3 tablespoons butter
2 stalks celery                       1/4 cup all- purpose flour
1 onion chopped                   1 cup heavy cream
3 cloves garlic, minced          1 teaspoon dried tarragon  ( I skip this)
8 potatoes, peeled & cubed  3teaspoons fresh cilantro, chopped
4 cups chicken stock, or enough to cover potatoes

Directions
1. In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until done. Remove bacon from the pan and set aside. Drain off all but 1/4 cup of bacon grease

2.In the bacon grease remaining in the pan, saute the celery and onion until the onion begins to turn clear. Add the garlic, and continue cooking for 3 to 4 minutes. Return the bacon to the pan and add enough chicken stock to just cover the potatoes. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender. 

3. In a separate pan, melt the butter over medium heat.Whisk in the flour. Cook, stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the heavy cream, (tarragon if you use it) and the cilantro. Bring the cream mixture to a boil and cook, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir the cream mixture int the potato mixture. Puree about 1/2 the soup and return to the pan. Adjust seasonings to taste.

As Julia Child would say..."Bon Appetite!" 

10 comments:

  1. Good blog dad, I eat a lot of soup at work these days and I always end up bringing up the soup natzi to one of my bosses hahahaah

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  2. Hi Camille- I like soup, especially homemade soup. I had some clam chowder once at a friends house that was out of this world. She made it herself. Normally I don't like clam chowder, but this gal was an exceptional cook. That was a funny episode with the soup nazi. I wish Seinfeld was stil on. Thanks for writing gal.

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  3. Def like that soup as well as mom's salsa chicken.

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  4. Glad you posted the recipe, I might actually get around to making it. Tonight though I am making udon noodle soup...It is to die for! Liz

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  5. HI guys- This soup is definately one of my favorites. I've got a small deer roast in the oven right now so I can make a batch of vegetable soup. I wanted to make some while grandma was still here. It will probably be the last batch until next hunting season- I think this is the last roast. Oh well, it's getting to be the busy time of year so I won't be doing much more cooking anyway. I've heard of that noodle soup Liz, but never tried it- maybe some day.

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  6. I just might hafta try that soup dad....I've always liked potato soup...clam chowder..no..not so much...Will hafta letcha know how it turns out when I get around to it! And...I'm thinking should you have a brain fart in your "old age" you'll be forgiven for writing twice about the same potato soup...if nothing else, it will keep someone from hafting to go through months and months of blogs to find that recipe..love you! AJ p.s....Liz...udon noodle soup???? Do tell!

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  7. Hi Amber- It's really good soup. Like the name implies, its the absolutely ultimate potato soup. I made the vegetable soup yesterday- mmm... delightful!

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  8. We just learned about the potato famine for Luke's project on Ireland

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  9. It was eye opening to read the account of what caused it and the way the Irish folks lived and were treated- even after they migrated to this country. The report I read was many pages long- longer than I had time for, but I was glad I read it. The history taught in school is seldom the full story.

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  10. lol...sometimes your choice of words always makes me laugh dad..."delightful"...I have a hard time seeing you saying such things when we were younger..it always makes me giggle like a little kid when I hear those words in your voice in my head..don't ask me why...I'm a goober and wouldn't have an answer;-) I will hafta try that soup recipe sometime though, for sure

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