02 April 2008

Penny Pinching Potato Soup

Kat from A Good Appetite had an interesting recipe for potato soup up the other week. I can't say that potato soup is something that I think about often but this one caught my eye (it may have had something to do with the half sack of potatoes that had been sitting on my counter catching my eye every morning as I made my lunch). The original recipe came from a money blog called Get Rich Slowly in a frugal recipe feature- a strange source for a recipe, I know. Anyway- I was intrigued because the recipe called for cooking the potatoes in the microwave before adding them to the soup, and it had no cream but used fat-free evaporated milk instead.

I made a few slight changes to the recipe along the way, leaving out the butter than the original recipe called for in place of 1T of the bacon fat (that sounds terrible when actually written out, does't it? Since the recipe called for bacon it seemed natural to use the bacon fat as a base for the soup and skip adding the quarter cup of butter it originally called for). I also decreased the flour (for a thickening roux) to 1T and think that you could skip this step entirely- the potato itself makes for a rather thick soup. I did use the season salt to spice it, but I don't think I would again as I thought it had a sort of strange flavor. I think smoked paprika would be a particularly nice substitute.

The soup was thick, so thick I hesitate to call it a soup. It was sort of a cross between mashed potatoes and potato soup but it was comforting to have a bowl full of it on a cold and windy night.

Penny Pinching Potato Soup
Adapted from Get Rich Slowly and A Good Appetite
Serves 4

1.5lb/700g baking potatoes
3 slices bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1T flour (optional)
1/4C white wine
2C chicken stock
1, 12oz. can fat free evaporated milk
2t season salt, smoked paprika, or your favorite
2-3 scallions, thinly sliced for garnish

- Clean the potatoes and pierce each several times with a fork. Cut very large potatoes in half and microwave until soft (8-15 minutes depending on the strength of your micro).

- In a heavy bottomed pot cook the bacon until crisp over medium low heat. Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined. Remove all but 1T of the bacon fat.

- Add the onion to the pot and raise the heat to medium, add garlic and cook till onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. If you are using the flour, add it here and stir well to create a roux.

- Add the wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan to get up the brown bits (if you used flour, stir vigorously, it will form a thick paste). Add the stock and evaporated milk (until it come so a boil, if using flour).

- Carefully scoop out the flesh of half of the potatoes and mash it with a fork till smooth, add to the pot. Roughly chop the remaining potato and add to the pot (skins on or off- your choice). Add seasonings and bring to a simmer.

- Serve immediatley, garnished with crumbled bacon and scallions.


SaraLynn said...

Oh, now I am starving! This looks wonderful!

kat said...

Looks good! I agree it was much thicker than a soup. I never thought about skipping the four & you are right it doesn't really need it. Your addition of white wine was probably really good too. I was afraid season salt would taste odd too but ours seemed to be ok. We added a little butter because our 2 slices of bacon just didn't seem to render a ton of fat.

Jen said...

Saralynn-- thanks for your comment.

Kat- the funny taste of my season salt may have had something to do with it's age since it's not something I ever remember using before and am a little afraid to think of when it was actually purchased. Thanks again for posting the recipe--