A few days ago I found myself staring blankly at the meal list I had so painstakingly prepared right before the stay at home orders were issued. I remember thinking at the time how useful it would be in making sure my family had 3 square and healthy meals a day for the next month or so. Ah…the best laid plans.
So far that meal list had been a life saver–one less thing to worry about during the day. Just pick a meal and make it. But on this day none of those meals seemed to fit my cooking mood, hence the mindless staring at the paper pinned to the fridge. The mindless staring soon became mindless meandering, searching through the pantry, freezer and fridge, looking for something that would fill tummies and “fit” my mood.
My rumbling tummy soon shook me out of the zombie daze and I began to purposely peruse the kitchen for things that needed to be used soon or be lost. Potatoes, onions, milk. Hmmmm. I quickly realized with it being rainy and gloomy outside it would be the perfect day for some homemade potato soup , so I went searching to find my old recipe. Unfortunately what I remembered as a delicious soup now seemed lackluster at best, so I sought help from the web. No luck there either. Most recipes were either too “uppity” or too simple. I needed easy, yet hearty. At this point I felt like Goldilocks, so I decided to put my cooking talents to the test and create a new potato soup recipe–one that took ideas from the fancy web sites while staying true to my old, worn out version–a recipe that would fit my family “just right.”
It turned out beautifully, so I have decided to share it–hope you enjoy it!
Goldilocks Potato Soup
Prep time: 30-45 minutes Cook/Simmer time: 1-2 hours Servings: 6-8
6 medium russet potatoes (about 6 Cups), peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
1/2 medium onion (1/2 Cup), chopped finely
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Cups Chicken Broth
2 Cans Cream of Chicken Soup
2 Soup Cans Milk (use the cans from the cream of chicken soups)
6 Slices Bacon
1 Cup cooked, diced ham (optional, but adds extra heartiness and flavor)
- Cook bacon until crispy, reserving 1 Tablespoon drippings. Set aside.
- While bacon is cooking…rinse diced potatoes, place in bowl, cover with water and microwave 5 minutes. This will soften them up a bit and reduce cooking time.
- In large cooking pot…add bacon drippings over medium heat. Saute onions until tender, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and saute another 30 seconds until garlic is fragrant.
- Add liquids–broth, can soup, and milk. Bring to a boil. Add potatoes. Return to boil, stirring constantly so potatoes do not stick. Once at a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until potatoes are fork tender and soup has thickened to your liking (about an hour). Stir every 15 minutes so that soup does not stick.
- Add salt and pepper to taste after soup has cooked awhile, as the cream of chicken and chicken broth already have quite a lot of salt/flavor.
- For additional heartiness, add a cup of cooked, diced ham to the soup during last 30 minutes of cooking.
Serve soup with crumbled bacon pieces on top and toasted bread on the side. Additional topping suggestions: chopped scallions, chives, sour cream, cheddar cheese.
- I added the diced ham to this recipe the day after I made the soup, as I had forgotten I had leftover baked ham in the fridge. The ham really bumped up the flavor and heartiness of the soup and took the dish to a higher level.
- Note to my fellow RA warriors and anyone who suffers from chronic neck or back pain: this recipe requires quite a bit of cutting, stirring, moving and cleaning of pots/utensils, which can cause pain in the hands, shoulders, neck and back. If you have a significant other or a child who is old enough to help, ask them 🙂
- The longer the soup simmers, the thicker it will get. On the flip side, if leftovers are too thick, add a little extra milk when reheating.
- I used russet potatoes, yellow onion, 2% milk and chicken bouillon cubes (to make the broth). If you do not have these exact ingredients, use whatever you have–golden potatoes, red onion, whole milk (or half and half), or can broth.