Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mashed Potato Soup

We are going away next week, and a friend is staying at our house to take care of Sadie, Pedro and Ozzie.  Friend is having dental surgery and will be recuperating here, away from her children (they are staying with Friend's Parents).  Friend was here the other day, and we asked her what kind of food she would like us to have for her.  She said oh anything, I'm not picky.  I know that "not picky" and "just had dental surgery" can clash, so I decided to make some creamy soup for her.  I went on Tastespotting and found this:

Natalie said she had a secret family ingredient in the soup, so I decided to make this recipe.  I won't be making the garlic ciabatta bites this time.  For convenience, here is the recipe; but check out Natalie's blog!  I am calling it mashed potato soup since there is nothing in it that is baked.  The secret family recipe turns out to be a thing of cream cheese with chives and onions.

Baked Potato Soup

yield: 6 large portions

1 large White Onion
3 Garlic Cloves
1 TBS Butter
6 cups Chicken Stock
10 medium Idaho Potatoes or 6 large Russet Potatoes, peeled and medium diced
1 (8oz) container Kraft Philadelphia Chive and Onion Cream Cheese (1/3 less fat or regular)
3 slices Bacon, cooked and diced
1/2 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/3 cup Green Onions, chopped
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1 – 2 cups Milk, thin to desired consistency

1. In a deep pot add butter and turn to medium heat. Once butter has melted add garlic and onions and saute a few minutes until aromatic. Turn heat to medium low and caramelize, around 10 minutes.

2. Add the stock and potatoes to the pot and bring to a boil. Let boil for a few minutes before bringing the heat down to medium-low. Let simmer for 45 minutes until potatoes are soft and falling apart. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes into small pieces.

3. Let soup cool for a few minutes. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out half of the potato mixture that should have settled on the bottom of the pot. Add to a blender and also add a few cups of liquid. Blend until completely pureed and smooth. Pour back into the soup and turn heat back to medium – low.

4. Add the cream cheese to the soup and slowly let it melt. This will take anywhere between 30 – 45 minutes. During this time add the bacon, cheese, salt and pepper. Stir occasionally to mix in the cream cheese.

5. After the cream cheese is completely melted, adjust the soup with milk to your desired consistency.

Drat, I forgot to buy scallions.  I think a whole onion and the chive & onion cream cheese might be plenty oniony enough.  We'll see.

"10 medium Idaho Potatoes or 6 large Russet Potatoes" can be anything, depending on your personal interpretation of medium/large.  I have seen russet potatoes the size of a football.  I am using 11 smallish-medium potatoes.  Smallish-medium to me is where a potato fits in the palm of my hand with my fingers slightly bent.

Small? Medium? Large? You be the judge.
I have scrubbed the potatoes and I am about to peel them now.  Peeling potatoes is a pain in my butt, but I am going to give this another chance and try to get zen with it.  I love chopping vegetables, so why can't I love peeling potatoes?  At least I can try.

haha - I have put this off for 10 minutes while I cruised the journal room at Nutrimirror.  OK NOW I'm going to peel potatoes. 

Done. That only took 15 minutes, but it felt like at least 30.  I tried getting zen, but my mind kept wandering.  Anyway, on with the show.

Chop the onion and garlic, and saute in 1 T butter.  I use unsalted butter for everything these days instead of regular butter.    Carmelize the onion and garlic, then add the potatoes and 6 cups of chicken stock.  I used turkey stock I made and froze the day after Thanksgiving.  I have had plenty of occasions to use the turkey stock since Thanksgiving, but I kept forgetting it was in the freezer.  We are trying to clear out the freezer to make room for Friend's food and I have spotted the turkey stock in there every day this week, which is apparently what it takes for me to remember to use it.  I melted 4 cups of frozen-in-ice-cube-trays turkey stock, and added 2 cups of water.  Even diluted, this will taste better than store-bought stock!

Turkey stock cubes, melting
 Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 45 minutes.  I put the lid on it, slightly off center so steam can escape.

Bring potatoes, onions and garlic to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes
 I am not going to put hot soup into a blender.  I'm going to use an immersion blender.  It's just more fun, and less dangerous.

After blending the soup, it has the consistency of really wet mashed potatoes.  I put in the cream cheese and the cheddar (I used about a cup).  Now it has to cook while the cream cheese melts.

After this cooked for a while and the cream cheese melted in, it was still a very mashed-potato consistency.  The recipe calls for two cups of milk.  I put in one cup of milk and stopped.  The consistency is now like very thick soup, not very thin mashed potatoes.  It is a fine, fine line.

The recipe also calls for putting 3 strips of bacon into the soup.  It does need something with some texture, and I'll crumble some bacon over it when I serve it, but I didn't mix any into the soup itself.  And like I said, I forgot to buy scallions.  I wonder if we have any dried chives to sprinkle on top.  I will also sprinkle some grated cheddar cheese over it. 

Now I wish I was making the ciabatta bites.......

These are the stats for the soup the way I made it, not following the recipe exactly.

nutrition facts

Sadie was very helpful while I cooked, snoozing away with her woobies.

Now that we've had a bowl of soup, I can honestly say that it was really pretty bland.  Adding bacon and cheese at the end helped with that, but I really wish I'd remembered to buy scallions, or that my chives were growing right now.  It was definitely creamy and tasted like potatoes!


  1. Thats why KaryaD soup is hummm, hummm, good!

  2. I bet if you cooked the bacon, then used some of the fat to cook your onions it would kick the flavor up a bit. You can then use the crumbled bacon on top.

    I am slayed by the potato conundrum. I laugh because it is so true!

  3. This looks yummy.

    Buy this vegetable peeler and you might not be so averse to peeling. I love it.

  4. haha Kay - that is the peeler I have! This is just something I will live with because I'm sure not giving up potatoes.