Tag Archives: potato

The Return of The Klutz and a Tasty Veggie Soup

8 Oct
Potato Leek and Broccoli Soup with Pancetta Bread Crumbs

Potato Leek and Broccoli Soup with Pancetta Bread Crumbs

We’re back from our 20th wedding anniversary trip to our RV property on the Siletz River on the Central Coast of Oregon. Not too newsworthy unless I mention the fact that I pretty much shattered my left middle finger on the second day there in a boat launch accident.  I had surgery on the finger the day after we got back, and am now entrapped in a traction device. I don’t have the sling anymore at least, that was just to hold up my arm until the nerve block wore off.  After the recipe so you get to look at a few of “exciting” photos of the trip if you want. 🙂

Finger Traction Device

Finger Traction Device ~ Only the second one made at the clinic, lucky me!

Yet, I’m feeling for ya’! So I’ll share a yummy soup recipe I made just before we left first. It’s the least I can do. I only got a couple of pics since I was also packing for the week.

p.s. I finally purchased a sous vide immersion circulator! I’ve been experimenting it (with the hubby’s help since I’m down to one hand, but so far so good!) Just had an awesome chuck roast beef stew cooked 26 hours at 165F then seared with pan gravy made from juices in bag. I’ll start posting those those types of recipes when I can. Picture-taking is mighty hard at the present. Typing with one hand is not exactly a picnic either…

Potato, Leek, and Broccoli Soup with Pancetta Bread Crumbs
Adapted from Food and Wine

3 cloves unpeeled garlic
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 cup sliced leeks, white and light green parts only
1 pound Russet or other potatoes, peeled and chopped small
2 cups broccoli florets, coarsely chopped small
2 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/2 cups Half and Half
Wedge of fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Salt or Mrs. Dash and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup cubed sourdough bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 cup finely chopped pancetta
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon dried and crushed rosemary (or 1 teaspoon fresh)

Wrap garlic cloves in foil and bake at 400F degrees for 35 minutes. Remove and let cool then peel and add to a food processor or blender.

In a soup pot or Dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the leeks, potatoes and broccoli and cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the leeks start to soften. Add the chicken stock and 3 1/2 cups of water, cover and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat until all of the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Working in batches, add soup to the garlic in the food processor or blender, amd puree the soup until very smooth. Return the puree to the pot and stir in the Half and Half and wedge of lemon juice. Season the soup with salt or Mrs. Dash and pepper. Keep warm on low.

Meanwhile, pulse the bread cubes in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. In a skillet, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the tablespoon of oil. Add the pancetta, sage, rosemary and bread crumbs and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until the crumbs and pancetta are browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with the pancetta crumbs, and enjoy!

Potato Leek and Broccoli Soup with Pancetta Bread Crumbs

Potato Leek and Broccoli Soup with Pancetta Bread Crumbs

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Here are some pics from our vacation:

An armada of Kayakers on the Siletz River

An armada of kayakers on the Siletz River

Neighbor and hubby showing off the Dungeness crab

Neighbor and hubby showing off the Dungeness crab

Me showing off some crabs

Me showing off some crabs

Our Dungeness crab haul for the day

Our Dungeness crab haul for the day

 

Our Anniversary Dinner

Our Anniversary Dinner ~ Tee Hee!

New deck

Hubby built a new deck out of our old dock that washed away in flooding last year

 

 

Creamy Cauliflower and Potato Soup is a Community Pick!

2 Feb
Creamy Cauliflower and Potato Soup

Creamy Cauliflower and Potato Soup

I was so excited when I checked on the status of a recipe I submitted to a contest late last night on the Food52 website, and was pleasantly surprised to see my recipe was selected for the testing phase of “Your Best Recipe with Potatoes 2.0”!

Even though I don’t have a new recipe for you (we had been busy getting ready to host our first Super Bowl party in the new house), you can find a slew of great recipes on that website, including all the great potato recipes that made it through the first round of the contest!

Click here to view the Community Pick page —–> Your Best Recipe with Potatoes 2.0

You can click on the link to the recipe in the list. Enjoy!

Potato and Spinach Soup with Bacon and Jalapeño

3 Jan
Potato and Spinach Soup with Bacon and Jalapeño

Potato and Spinach Soup with Bacon and Jalapeño

When I served this soup to my husband for dinner last week, he exclaimed “What is this? You are serving me Klingon Grog!” in some strange accent that certainly wasn’t Klingon. I was pretty sure it was Klingon blood that is green, not their grog, but I just laughed him off and told him to eat his soup. (After further research, it turns out they do have a green grog, but their main drink is blood red. I digress…)

We were in the midst of a pretty crazy snowstorm that dumped almost 8 inches on us (we were supposed to only get one inch, but it just kept coming!) so I had to make do with what we had on hand for dinner. I had some potatoes, a half-pound bag of frozen spinach, and a half of a fresh jalepeño left from making Carne Guisada the day before.

After a little Googling, I found this amazing recipe for soup with those ingredients. It also called for bacon, and much to my surprise I found three frozen uncooked strips in the freezer. Wow, that made my day.

I halved the recipe, since there are only three of us, but this can easily be doubled. Yes, this is a vibrant green soup, but it is delicious, filling, and even guest-worthy. And you only get a very mild taste of jalapeño, with no spiciness at all that I could tell. The jalapeño gave it an added depth of taste. It would also be a great first course when entertaining dinner guests, plus it is very easy to make with few ingredients.

Potato and Spinach Soup with Bacon and Jalapeño
Adapted from The Nourished Kitchen cookbook

3 strips bacon, diced
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon reserved bacon grease
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 large jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 pound potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 to 6 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
8 ounces fresh or frozen spinach, thawed
Sour cream, for serving

Prepping the Veggies

Prepping the Veggies

Cook bacon in a Dutch oven or stockpot until browned and crispy. Remove, drain on paper towels and set aside. Drain all but about one teaspoon of the grease from the pot. Add 1 teaspoon of butter, then stir in the onion and jalapeño and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the potato chunks, then give it a good mix.

Veggies Ready for Chicken Broth

Veggies Ready for Chicken Broth

Pour in the chicken broth, cover, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through all the way. Stir in the spinach and bacon (reserving some bacon for garnish), and simmer another 5 minutes. (If using fresh spinach, simmer until it wilts.)

Simmering Soup

Simmering Soup

Puree the soup with an immersion blender (I don’t have one) or in batches in a blender or food processor until completely smooth. Serve the soup with a dollop of sour cream and bacon pieces as additional garnish. You may salt to taste at this point, but the bacon and sour cream made it plenty salty for our tastes.

Now I just have to show you lame attempt at making pretty swirlies with the sour cream. Luckily I reserved extra bacon in case this didn’t work out. Obviously it didn’t. It looks like some kind of morph between a snail and a beetle! I’m afraid food styling is not my biggest strength as a food blogger. 😀

Sour Cream Garnish FAIL

Sour Cream Garnish FAIL

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Creamy Cauliflower and Potato Soup

19 Oct
Creamy Cauliflower and Potato Soup

Creamy Cauliflower and Potato Soup

I love it when I come across a recipe that inspires me to buy the ingredients on my next shopping trip and make it for lunch or dinner. This was such a recipe, and a big shout out to Seana at Cottage Grove House, who makes beautiful, easy-to-make homemade fresh dishes and shares them for people like me! Please go check out her site, if you would, here.

Although it’s been the warmest fall I can remember in the 20 years I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest, October means it is soup-making time. Who cares if I’m still wearing capris and t-shirts?

A 3-quart pot is the largest pot available in this tiny temporary kitchen, so I had to make some quantity adjustments to the original recipe. In addition, the store I went to did not have creme fraiche, so I had to use a homemade substitute for that.

This was a perfect, light supper for another beautiful sunny, fall day. And as luck should have it, my husband fried up some extra bacon when he made a BLT sandwich for lunch today, so I added some extra flavor to the soup by subbing one tablespoon of olive oil for bacon grease, then garnishing the soup with some of the bacon bits. The bacon part is totally optional, so this would be a great meatless meal for any day!

Creamy Cauliflower and Potato Soup
Adapted from Luscious Cauliflower Soup by Cottage Grove House

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced sweet yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 head cauliflower, cored and roughly chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth, preferably homemade or low sodium
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream whisked with 2 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (not pre-shredded)
Snipped chives or green onion, for garnish
Chopped cooked bacon, for garnish (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Chopped Onion, Cauliflower, and Potatoes

Chopped Onion, Cauliflower, and Potatoes

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil (or 1 tablespoon bacon grease and 1 tablespoon olive oil) in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the diced onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the cauliflower and potatoes and continue to cook for 5 minutes.

Add the broth and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 more minutes. Remove from heat

Simmering Cauliflower and Potatoes in Broth

Simmering Cauliflower and Potatoes in Broth

In batches, blend about half the soup until desired consistency. Stir in the cheese, half & half and sour cream mixture. Garnish with snipped chives and bacon bits (optional). Pass with salt and pepper and adjust seasoning accordingly, depending on garnishes used. Serve with warm crusty, buttered bread.

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

French Challenge #3 ~ Salads

17 May
French Classics Cookbook

French Classics Cookbook

This is not only a post about my French Challenge going on, but to also say it’s been a challenging week at home with some personal family issues, hence no cooking blog this week. No new recipes or much cooking going on in this household besides microwaving and such, but we are slowly getting back on track. I hope to get you some new recipes after we get over this bump in the road of life.

Now, I present to you three dishes from the third chapter of my French cookbook. I had challenged myself to make at least one dish from each chapter, and this chapter is Vegetables and Sides. I found all the vegetable recipes to be quite simple, and one of them only had two ingredients so I wasn’t much challenged by that! So I picked three of the salads that at least expanded my horizons. Which is a nice change of pace from the Cassoulet dish I made a few weeks ago, which stretched me for sure!

Please comment which dish you’d like me to make for my next challenge by the end of Sunday, May 18. I found the longer voting times really didn’t increase the votes, so let’s just get it over with, huh? Here are the choices:

Dill and Caper Potato Salad

Dill and Caper Potato Salad

Dill and Caper Potato Salad

Salade Nicoise

Salade Nicoise

Salade Nicoise

Warm Lentil and Chorizo Salad

Warm Lentil and Chorizo Salad

Warm Lentil and Chorizo Salad

You can comment on both Facebook or down below in the comments. Thank you so much for your help!

 

Steak and Pork Pot Pie

9 Apr
Steak and Pork Pot Pie

Steak and Pork Pot Pie

After a busy and fun (OK, awesome!) weekend out of town, I’m finally getting around to cooking and blogging again! My husband had grilled up some pork and steaks over the weekend and I was faced with grilled leftover meat and not a lot of ideas for what to do with it.

When I opened the freezer to look for options, I spied a frozen pie crust and had an “AHA!” moment. Who said you can’t make pot pie with grilled steak or pork, huh? And with the meat already cooked, it became a simple and delicious dinner idea. I did not use the “Holy Trinity” with celery since my daughter does not eat celery (even though I cook with it all of the time), but I added peas for both color and taste. Two thumbs up from the fam, too! Here is what I did:

Steak and Pork Pot Pie

Steak and Pork Pot Pie

Steak and Pork Pot Pie

4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup baby carrots, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 small potato, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup flour
2 cups homemade or low-sodium beef broth
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb, or salt, to taste
1 sprig of fresh thyme, leaves stripped and minced (or a pinch dried)
1/4 cup milk
1 pound leftover cooked steak and/or pork, cubed (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup frozen petite peas
1 frozen pie crust, thawed
1 egg, beaten with a little water

Grilled Beef and Pork

Grilled Beef and Pork

In a large skillet, melt the butter and add the carrots, onion, and potato. Cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. Add the flour, seasonings, and thyme and stir until mixed into the butter.  Add the beef broth, then turn up heat to medium, stirring constantly until it thickens and begins to simmer. Turn back down to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the milk and stir to combine. Last, mix in the meat and peas, then turn off heat.

Steak and Pork Pot Pie Filling

Steak and Pork Pot Pie Filling

Pour into a 1.5 quart casserole (or large deep pie dish — I don’t happen to own one like that). Preheat oven to 375 degrees, meanwhile letting the mixture cool for about 20 minutes.  Top with the thawed pie crust and crimp around edges to seal. Brush on egg wash all over crust, then cut a few slits on top for venting. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes until crust is golden. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Dee-lish!

Steak and Pork Pot Pie

Steak and Pork Pot Pie

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

 

Potato Moussaka

27 Nov
Potato Moussaka

Potato Moussaka

(Pssst! It’s my birthday today. Any and all comments to that effect welcome. 😉 )

I chose this tasty recipe to test over the weekend as part of Food52’s most recent recipe contest for Your Best Potatoes. I entered my Ooey Gooey Au Gratin Potatoes to the contest, and when I didn’t make the first cut, I looked over all the Community Picks and this one stood out as one I’d enjoy cooking AND eating! So I pressed the Test This button and got to cookin’!

Since I was testing a specific recipe, I did not change or substitute any of the ingredients so that I could give it a fair assessment of the original. I was also very brave and served this to a couple we had over for dinner as the main course, with never even making it before to know how it would turn out. Very brave indeed. With a sigh of relief, all plates were polished off. Whew!

Potato Moussaka Assembled and Ready to Cook

Potato Moussaka Assembled and Ready to Cook

However, if I ever made this again, I would double the amount of spices and herbs called for in it. With the large amounts of potatoes, milk, and cream, the taste of those got lost in the mix. While this was very tasty on its own, three out of the five eating it decided to splash some Sriracha hot sauce over top, which made it just delicious! The other thing I would do different is buy a mandolin to slice the potatoes. It was sure slow going trying to evenly slice that many pounds of potatoes. Oy! Plus I only ended up with three layers of potatoes because I couldn’t slice them thin enough with just a kitchen knife. If you look at the original recipe photo, you can see she did a much neater job with the slicing and presentation. I also did not wait the requisite 15 or 20 minutes to let it set, and that’s pretty obvious from my “square slice” that really wasn’t square or sliced too well.

HINT: Add the sliced potatoes to a bowl of cold water while slicing them, then keep them in the water while you prepare the other ingredients. Remove and pat them dry with a towel when you are ready to assemble. This prevents them from browning.

Soaking Sliced Potatoes

Soaking Sliced Potatoes

Without further ado, here is the recipe I tested, as originally published:

Potato Moussaka <<– link to original, you can also print it from there
Recipe by QueenSashy on Food52 website

Author Notes: Moussaka is a famous Turkish/Mediterranean dish with eggplants, minced meat, tomatoes, béchamel and an occasional potato. However, as the Turks gradually conquered more and more of the Balkan territories and traveled north, towards Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania, most of the fancier ingredients were dropped and only potatoes remained with a scant sprinkle of minced meat, a testament to the life in these impoverished farming lands and their colder climates. And that is how the famous Potato Moussaka, one of the staple dishes of the Balkan cuisine was born. Potato moussaka is a seemingly simple dish to make, but the essence of getting it right lies in the baking process. When executed properly potato moussaka is a true masterpiece — wonderfully crisp on top, soft and caramelized on bottom, creamy in the middle, filled with wonderful little caves of fragrant minced beef, and bursting with rich, cheesy taste, despite of containing no cheese at all!  – QueenSashy

Serves 6

  • About 3lb Russet potatoes (to the extent possible, try to use potatoes of similar size and shape)
  • 1 pound ground beef (preferably 80% lean)
  • 2 small shallots (about 4 oz)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups light cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 generous teaspoon of dried summer savory (or ½ tsp dried oregano and ½ tsp dried marjoram)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil, plus more for oiling/brushing
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 9×13 inch rectangular baking dish
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large sauté pan heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent, for about a minute or two. Add the ground beef and cook until browned on the surface. Do not overcook. Remove from heat and season with salt, pepper, parsley and summer savory. Divide the meat into three parts.
  3. Peel the potatoes, rinse them and pat them dry. Slice the potatoes 1/8-inch thick, no more, no less. (You may want to discards the smallest pieces.)
  4. Liberally oil the baking dish. Arrange the potato slices neatly in the baking dish in one layer, overlapping each one about the third of the way over the slice that came before, until the bottom of the dish is neatly paved. Sprinkle with salt and cover with the third of the meat. Repeat the process (potatoes + sprinkle of salt + ground beef) two more times. Finish with another neat layer of potatoes (for a total of four potato layers.)
  5. In a small bowl beat the eggs. Add the milk, cream, garlic and a pinch of nutmeg. Mix well. Pour over the potatoes.
  6. Cover the baking dish with a foil and bake covered, until the liquid starts to bubble. Once the liquid starts to bubble, remove the cover, reduce heat to 365°F and bake for another hour or so (this will depend on your oven, dish, and many other factors, so start watching at about 45 minutes). The moussaka is done when the potatoes on top are golden brown, spotted with dark crispy areas, while potatoes inside are very soft. (If you notice during baking that top layer is getting dry, sprinkle it with water and brush it with vegetable oil. If you notice that the entire dish is getting dry, add a bit more warm milk. If you think that top is getting baked faster than the inside, cover with the foil again. If the inside is fully done and the top is not golden, finish the dish under the broiler for a minute or two.)
  7. Remove the moussaka from the oven. Let it settle for about 15-20 minutes, then cut into square slices and eat immediately.
Potato Moussaka

Potato Moussaka

Thick and Hearty Broccoli, Potato, and Cheese Soup

3 Apr
Thick and Creamy Broccoli, Potato, and Cheese Soup

Thick and Creamy Broccoli, Potato, and Cheese Soup

This is pea-soup thick, I tell you! Stand up spoon thick. And can be an awesome meatless main if I can get hubby to stop adding bacon to everything. Not that I don’t mind the bacon, don’t get me wrong, but he seems to want to add a meat protein to everything he makes, even when it doesn’t really need it. However, I am SOOOO grateful my husband cooks. Thank You!!! xoxoxo.

We had some coolish days last week before an incredible Easter Weekend warm-up where I worked my hiney-off in the yard pulling weeds that were just starting to poke up. I have a real trouble spot with those in the backyard. I also planted my herb garden! I am so looking forward to having fresh-grown herbs around again. It’s still too early for permanently leaving them outdoors so they come in at night in my handy-dandy deck rail planter pots.  My husband was also busy on his super-secret tomato plant project, which won’t be so super-secret soon once I blab my mouth here and fill you in on it. But that comes later. Today it’s all about the soup. I hope you enjoy!

p.s. I didn’t watch him make this, I only showed up to eat and take pictures, and had to drag the ingredients and method out of him later. So if I’ve missed a step or ingredient here and there… sorry!

Thick and Creamy Broccoli, Potato, and Cheese Soup

4 strips bacon, cooked (totally optional!)
1 to 2 heads of broccoli, depending on size
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
5 cups homemade or low-salt chicken or vegetable broth
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced small
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasoning, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (about one cup)

So the first indication I got that hubby was cooking was the smell of bacon wafting up through the hallway into my office at about four in the afternoon. Really? Are you going to make me salivate at my desk here while I am slaving a way at work??? All that aside, he told me earlier he was going to make a broccoli, potato, and cheese soup, so when I smelled BACON I was a bit confused. So of course I had to go downstairs and investigate. And sniggle. Oh. do you know what “sniggle” means? I said I was going to do that to the Easter ham the other day and he asked if that’s really a word. Well, in my book it is. It means: If you take teensy-weensy pieces of something that’s supposed to be part of the main meal before it’s served, it tastes better. And that is the Honest-to-God Truth. Amen.

Thick and Hearty Broccoli and Potato Cheese Soup

Thick and Hearty Broccoli and Potato Cheese Soup

On to the prep of this, give or take ingredients and steps.

If you are adding bacon, cook this first. Otherwise, cut all the florets off the broccoli and trim the stalks. Add olive oil, onion, carrots, celery, minced garlic, and HALF the broccoli florets and half the stalks to a large soup pot or dutch oven. Cook over medium heat until the veggies start to soften, then add the chicken or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer until the broccoli is tender, about 10 or 15 minutes. In batches, puree all the vegetables in a blender or food processor with some of the liquid until smooth, and return to the pot. Or, if you have a handy-dandy immersion blender, use that instead. I don’t have one. Do I need one? I don’t know but I have no room for it.

Next, add the diced potatoes, the seasonings to taste, and the rest of the broccoli florets. You can save the other half of the broccoli stalks for another use, or compost them. Bring back up to a boil, then turn down to simmer again for about 15 or 20 minutes until the potatoes and florets are tender. I think he added some of the bacon at this point, but can’t be sure. Either way, it’s optional. Last, add the cup of shredded cheddar cheese, and stir to combine and melt. (Hint: The pre-bagged store-bought stuff will clump in a soup like this. Do yourself and the soup a favor and shred your own cheese from a block.) Garnish with cooked bacon pieces (optional) and serve with slices of thick, buttered French bread. Oh my, this was so good. I’m sure it freezes well, but we ate so much that night that we were able to finish it off for lunch the next day.

Chicken, Broccoli, and Potato Soup

28 Apr
Chicken, Broccoli, and Potato Soup

Chicken, Broccoli, and Potato Soup

My husband made this midweek for dinner when we had some broccoli that needed using up stat. Since I’m not having to suck dinner up through a straw anymore, he made this both creamy and chunky so it made a good filling dinner with some thick slices of french bread. I added some shredded cheese after I took the picture and it was delicious! The next night I made some super-easy Mexican rice to go with our chicken tacos, so I’ll share that in the next few days for the upcoming Cinco de Mayo.

Chicken, Broccoli, and Potato Soup

4-6 cups homemade chicken broth
1 chicken breast, cooked and chopped
3 potatoes, cubed
2 small heads broccoli, cut into small florets
1/2 onion, chopped
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb
Black pepper

My husband first made the chicken broth by cooking the chicken breast covered with water and fresh veggies thrown in. You can read the full recipe here: Homemade Chicken Broth. After he strained the broth, he let the chicken breast cool a bit then chopped into bite size pieces and set aside. Next he added the rest of the vegetables and spices to taste into a soup pot with the broth.  He simmered the veggies until the potatoes were tender, for about 45 minutes. Then he ladled half of the soup into our giant blender and pureed until smooth. He poured the mixture back into the soup pot, then kept warm until dinner. Fantastic!

Creamy Asparagus and Potato Soup

10 Feb

Creamy and Asparagus and Potato Soup

My husband came home with two bundles of these beautiful asparagus bundles yesterday, and I was excited to come up with a recipe that would be both filling and tasty. After gleaning the ‘net, I found one recipe I could adapt, but I changed it so much it’s not very close to the original recipe. For one, it called for chicken bouillon and water for the broth. I don’t know how many times I’ve said YUCK to that! Homemade chicken broth was definitely in order. It also called for heavy cream and a half a cup of flour. That sounded way too heavy for my liking, so just used milk and a little flour and then pureed half the soup in a blender to make it creamy. And what…no garlic? What’s wrong with that picture? But one thing that caught my eye was that it used cheddar cheese and bacon as the topping. Oh yes. I can go with that.

Fresh Asparagus

I used one bundle of the asparagus, so figured that was about a pound after trimming the stalks. I’m sure we’ll use the other bundle as a side dish of steamed asparagus for an upcoming meal. It took me several tries to get a good picture, so by the time I did, most of the cheese had melted. But it was a great meal, and my husband went for seconds. Even the daughter said it was really good. When I first tasted it I thought it needed a little salt, which is a no-no in my house, but after adding the cheese and bacon, it was perfect. A keeper!

Creamy Asparagus and Potato Soup

1 bundle of asparagus (about a pound), trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
3-4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2-3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
4-6 cups chicken broth, homemade preferably or low-sodium canned
Black pepper
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Blend
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon flour
Shredded cheddar cheese
Crumbled cooked bacon, or jarred bacon bits

Cooking the Veggies (and a bit o' bacon!)

After prepping all the vegetables, heat the oil and butter in a soup pot or dutch oven.  Keep some of the tips out if you want to make your soup “pretty” at the end. Add the vegetables and sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring often. At the last minute I decided to go ahead and add some of the bacon at this point for extra flavor. Add the chicken broth and seasonings to taste. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the potatoes are tender. This took me about 20 minutes at high altitude but may be much shorter at lower altitudes. Ladle about half the soup into a blender and puree until smooth then pour back into the pot. Add the flour to a measuring cup, then pour in the milk and whisk until smooth and slowly pour it into the simmering soup. Stir and simmer for just a few more minutes. Ladle into bowls, then garnish with cheese, bacon, and reserved steamed asparagus tips.

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