There are 100 ways to skin a cat, and there are 100 ways to make potato soup; and this is my way. If, like me, it’s the middle of summer in the South, you may be thinking soup sounds gross. Well don’t freak- you’re not bathing in it. Soup is a nice summer dinner if you give it a chance. In fact, soup was part of my life in Europe when I lived there last year- it’s a great start to any meal. Potato soup can also easily be super fatty and defeat the purpose of a light meal, but I tried to lighten (and cheapen) it up as much as I could.
1 potato cooks about 3 normal servings. Start by dicing it up. I usually cut it in “steaks” first.
Then chop long-ways….
Then dice to make nice little cubes.
Put your potatoes and salt in a greased sauce pan.
Add 1/2 chopped onion.
Then add a few stalks of finely chopped celery.
Next, add a finely chopped carrot. (By the way, remember the word for 2 parts onion+1 part celery+1 part carrot? It’s mirepoix (mer-pwah). It’s okay to chop as you go. The potatoes and onions need more time than the carrots, for example, so it’s okay. OH, and feel free to add ANY veggies you want. I’ve added zucchini, mushrooms, and whatever else you want.
Next, cut up some bacon and add it to a heated pan. You are welcome to skip the bacon, but for me, potato soup without bacon is weird, even if it’s just a little. In the meantime, chop up a few cloves of garlic.
When the bacon is just about done, add your garlic just until it starts to turn color. Set aside.
By this time, your veggies should be getting a little uncomfortable in the pot. Your potatoes should be tender. Go ahead and add a splash of milk and stir.
I wanted the starch of the potatoes to release a little bit so I mashed it up just a tad. When it’s mashed to your liking, go ahead and add a bit more milk.
Now listen, this is one thing I’ve learned about milk based soups: once you put in the milk, you need to serve it within about 30 minutes or less… ideally, just until the milk is warmed up. Last year I made a HUGE pot of this and didn’t serve it till about 2 or 3 hours later and it was really separated and weird.
Go ahead and add your bacon and garlic. The amount of grease you prefer is up to you. Add any spices you want- I added black pepper, a tiny bit of worcestershire sauce and a few drops of hot sauce for my personal preference.
Stir, make sure it’s warm, make sure you have enough salt, and serve immediately. If you prefer to put a wee bit of cheddar cheese right in the soup, go for it. Otherwise, to save on calories either forget it or just add a little bit on top.
Green onions are a great addition to this as well.
1 Potato – $.85
A few stalks celery – $.10 (on sale)
1 Carrot – $.19
1/2 Onion – $.49
Few cups of milk – ~$.50
Few strips of bacon – ~$.60
Green onions – ~$.15
3 Servings soup – $2.88
1 Serving soup – .96
THAT is why I don’t like paying more than a few bucks for a stinking bowl of soup!