Basic Creamy Potato Soup
|Yum! Creamy Potato Soup|
I love soups! The fall is a great time to experiment with soup – a handy way to use some of that last-of-the-season produce, warm your tummy, and put a whole meal in a single pot!
I keep my soups pretty basic, to reduce the squawking from my young ones. The great thing about soups is that you can modify so easily (some bacon or sausage would sub in nicely for ham). I do my best to “hide” the onion (kids like the flavor, but no chunks). I like finely diced ingredients, but if you want a little more coarse chop, go for it.
This makes about 4 hearty servings. You can make it a meal with a side salad (or go for your carb overload and serve with fresh bread, like we did). By mashing a portion of the potatoes, it helps thicken the broth and make the soup rather creamy, without overdoing the heavy cream. It would actually be pretty tasty without the cream at all – that’s up to you. Start to finish, maybe 45 minutes – about 10 minutes chopping/prepping ingredients, about 10 minutes sautéing and maybe 25 to simmer.
- Potatoes – about 4 medium, peeled (2 coarsely diced, 2 finely diced)
- 3 Carrots, peeled and finely diced
- About 2 t. extra virgin olive oil
- One half onion, diced finely
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- About 1 cup ham, finely diced
- 1 box chicken stock (or broth), 32 ounce
- Heavy cream, one half to one full cup
- Kosher salt, to taste (about 1 t.)
- Black pepper, to taste
- Grated cheddar and fresh or dried chives, optional for garnish
First, prepare, peel and chop all your veggies. Set aside about 2 of the potatoes – just chunk them up and steam them in the microwave with about one-fourth cup water, until “mashable.” (Mine took about 7 minutes. Side note: I LOVE my Pampered Chef steamer – highly recommend! And no, I don’t sell their products.). Finely dice the remaining potatoes. I dice my ham after all the veggies are chopped, to reduce cross-contamination issues.
In a medium stockpot, heat oil over medium heat, then add onion and garlic. Saute until soft. If they start to brown too much before you’re ready, stir in just a little (quarter-cup or so) chicken stock and continue cooking.
Once the onion and garlic are done to your liking, stir in the ham and lightly brown. It’s extra nice to get some of that brown, caramelized coating to the bottom of the pan.
|Ham, garlic & onion - can you almost smell this?!?|
While the ham is browning, your steamed potatoes should be done. I left in the little bit of water from steaming and mashed with a fork. (Actually, my unpaid assistant, Ella, did this part. I highly recommend unpaid kitchen staff!) Once the potatoes are all mashed, stir in about a half-cup of chicken stock and mix until smooth.
Now, once the ham is browned, add in the diced carrots, diced potatoes, mashed potatoes and about 2-3 cups of the chicken stock. (I didn’t quite use the entire 4-cup box, but you can decide how thick or thin you’d like the soup. Start thick and thin as desired.) Once the soup comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until potatoes and carrots are at desired doneness. Add salt and pepper as desired.
To finish, stir in heavy cream and remove from heat. Serve with desired garnishes.
|Before cream, while simmering|
|Finished soup - Dish up!|
Mangia! (Eat!) . . . Cindy Lou Who