Homemade Potato Soup
Legend of the Soup Queen
I am Soup Queen, hear me roar! Okay, that's a self imposed moniker, but when my sixteen year old stepson volunteered to peel potatoes if I would make him potato soup I knew I had arrived. Yes, I stood a little taller and smiled, of course I'll make you soup. Who am I to deny a teenage boy?
My journey into making soup has not been a lifelong trip, it's a skill I only developed about five years ago, mainly out of necessity (I was between jobs and looking for ways to lower the grocery bill) My best friend was a soup wizard and seemed always have a her magic soup pot simmering on the stove. She said it was easy, but I was still intimidated.
Once I tried it I learned it is VERY easy, you can't really mess up, and there are no real recipes, only guidelines in making home made soup.
Nothing Better than Homemade Soup - Secret is in home made soup stock
Soup is comfort food, warm and toasty going down on a cool fall evening. When you're sick chicken soup has magical qualities. The secret to making homemade soup is the soup stock, never use plain water or your soup will have very little flavor.
Soup stock is the flavored liquid base and the best soup is made with home made stock. You can google how to make home made stock, but really everything I read makes it sound really difficult. It's really easy.
Directions for Homemade Soup Stock
1.Whenever you cook a pork roast, pulled pork or chicken in the slow cooker, save and freeze the liquid (that's meat stock)
2. Save the liquid from boiled potatoes made for mashed potatoes
3. Save the liquid from cooking any vegetable
4. After cooking a roasted chicken, boil the bones and carcass in a large pot, and simmer for 2 hours to get all the flavor
4. Buy beef or soup bones from the butcher or meat case in the grocery store. (Will cost under $2.00). Simmer for 2 hours
I Make Soup for a Small Crowd - How I keep soup warm all day
When I make soup on the weekends it's out all day for lunch and dinner. It's quite common for two gallons of potato soup to only last 24 hours. Yes, you heard me, my stepson was once responsible for eating a gallon of soup himself in just a day.
Restaurants and catering companies use soup warmers when feeding big crowds or lots of people in a buffet line. However, when I make soup or chili for my family I still need something this big. In the winter soup stays on all day and the handy flip top lid is kid and family friendly.
I will also us this when taking chili to football parties, and have loaned it to friends for soup suppers, weddings, and graduation parties. It's not only functional but a lot more decorative than a large roasting pan.
This soup kettle is just what you need if you are feeding a large group of people, say for a Superbowl party, graduation, or wedding guest.
This countertop soup kettle holds 44 cups of soup or chili and can keep baked potatoes warm for a crowd.
Adjustable temperature ranges from 80F to 200F
How to Make Potato Soup - Step By Step Guide to Making Potato SoupClick thumbnail to view full-size
My stepson thinks this is the best potato soup ever, and that is high praise. The secret is the puree step which makes the soup nice and creamy.
Perfect for a fall or winter day, this is a thick, rich, stick to your ribs potato soup Amounts of vegetables are not critical, if you want to add colored vegetables like carrots or peas then wait until after the puree step. Otherwise the creamy base will not have white creamy color but an orange or green color.
TIP: If you have leftover mashed potatoes you can puree them with just the liquid stock from the soup instead of blending the soup chunks. Be careful as you can easily turn the soup more into a Cream of Potato soup than a chunky potato soup.
But that's the great thing about soup, it is what you make it to your preferences. If you like a creamy soup, blend more vegetables, if you like it thinner, use less.
I have made potato soup with various combinations of ham, sausage and bacon, but finding a piece of bacon is your creamy soup is a little bit of heaven. Oh bacon, yum!!
If you can, save some extra bacon crumbles to sprinkle on top of the soup when serving.(as you can see that didn't happen here)
- 2 Quart of Chicken Stock (homemade or store bought)
- 12 large potatoes peeled and cubed
- 1 TBSP Ground Pepper
- 2 TBSP Salt
- 3 TBSP parsley
- 2 cups celery
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 2 large carrots (sliced)
- 4 cups milk
- 4 cups chopped ham
- 1 lb cooked chopped bacon (or 3 TSPN bacon fat)
- 2 cups cubed cheddar cheese (cheese of your choice)
- Wash, peel and cube about 12 large potatoes, enough to fill 1/3 of your soup pot
- Add celery, onion to potatoes
- Add salt and pepper
- Add in chicken stock, and extra water to cover the vegetables, bring to a boil, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender to easily pierce with a fork. (about 30 minutes)
- Remove 1/2 of the vegetable mixer and puree in a blender or food processor until smooth
- Add back into soup pot with cubed vegetables and stir
- Add ham and bacon, (and sausage if you wish)stir and simmer for 30 more minutes (colored veggies can be added here)
- Add cubed cheese and milk, simmer for about 15 minutes until cheese is melted
- Serve with bacon and/or cheese sprinkled on top.
Puree Creamy Soups - How to Make creamy soup
Creamy soups are thick and rich and seem like they would be difficult to make. Quite the opposite, take half of the cooked solid ingredients and puree them in a food processor or blender. Push the liquify button and walk away. Yes, walk away for about 5 minutes.
This is hard to do, the blender makes all kinds of noise and you might think it's done, but the more the ingredients liquify the smoother the texture.
I don't have a fancy expensive blender, this one suits my needs quite well and makes great creamed soup and milkshakes.
Granted the liquid capacity is 6 cups so you might need to blend more than one batch. But no one ever called soup fast food.
Kitchen Essentials for Making Soup - A few simple tools
Making soup is easier when you have the right kitchen tools and equipment. I started with small pots and soup has a way of growing in size as you add more ingredients. More than once I thought I was going to make a small batch of soup only to pour it into a bigger pot. This happened with this batch of potato soup.
A thick bottom to a pot helps prevent sourcing of cream based soups and allows for even heating through the soup. I have made soup in my crock pot, but it has become too small.
Since I've become the soup queen in my house I've gotten a reputation with my kids friends. I make soup and they come running. With my larger soup pot this isn't a problem.
Stock pots are large, and your everyday wooden spoon or ladle will fall and disappear into the soup. It's not fun fishing for your ladle in a pot of hot soup. This OXO ladle handle is long enough to reach the bottom.
A Good Knife is Important - Most versatile tool in the Kitchen
A good knife if worth it's weight in gold. The sharper the better, a sharp knife makes slicing vegetables fast and easy and is actually safer than a dull knife. For soup I like uniform slices of carrots and celery, it's so much prettier and in cooking presentation is part of the appeal.
I have a set of Cutco Knives which I love but my friend has the Wusthof Classic version. Both knives are designed to slice, chop and cut vegetables in the chef style "rocking motion". I line three carrots up in a row and cut through all three at once. It's easy, fast and fun.
Time to Serve the Soup - It's Hard to Wait
"When is the soup going to be ready?" is a question I often hear. I once told my son, when you can smell it outside it's ready. It was a cool fall day, I had the windows open and a few hours later he came back home, walked in and said "I can smell it outside, it's ready, I want to eat!"
Here is a photo of my latest batch of potato soup, this variety did not contain bacon or carrots, next time I'll add bacon. Potato soup is also very good with shredded cheese and bacon crumbles.
Soup Bowls Are a Nice Touch - Serve your soup with style
Home made soup deserves more than a plain cereal, or everyday bowl. Heavy soup bowls and mugs are part of the soup experience. They add to the atmosphere and comforting feeling of home made soup.
These stacking soup bowls should just stay on my counter all winter. If I don't have a pot of soup on the stove there is a pot of left over soup in the fridge, or frozen containers in the freezer.
Colorful soup bowls when you don't want a lot of soup, but just a snack. Makes nice coffee cups.
Jumbo soup bowls in pure white. White goes with every table setting, I'm thinking of getting everything in white.
Soup Recipe Books
Not all soups have to be slow food, sometimes you want something fast and this book has easy to follow soup recipes with common ingredients in your kitchen
The big soup book! Every soup imaginable is in this book from hearty chowders to summer cold soups. Remember a recipe is somewhere to start, you don't have to add all the ingredients and substitutions are encourage.