Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Creamy Potato Soup

Spring time is all about rainy days, and what is better on a rainy day that a nice hot bowl or soup? How about a creamy potato soup? I used homemade veggie stock, a bit of milk and a ton of flavor from a left over ham bone. Want to keep this strictly for the veggie lovers in your life? Just leave out the ham bone and ham all together. You can even leave out the milk and cheeses, it just won't be a "cream" soup anymore. There is still plenty of flavor hanging around from the veggie stock. If you like a thick potato soup like my family does, the secret is to stir in potato flakes at the end. They are an awesome thickening agent for this soup.

What You Need:

3 large russet poatoes, washed and diced
1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil
4 cup veggie stock
2 cup water
2 cup milk
1 tsp thyme
1 or 2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
ham bone
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
potato flakes
sliced scallions for garnish

What To Do:

If using the ham bone, place it in a pot and add in the veggie stock and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove the bone to cool and transfer the broth to a heat safe bowl. Return the pot back to the stove and add in the oil. Add in the potatoes, carrot, onion, celery and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until they start to soften, about 5-10 minutes. Pour in the stock you set aside, along with the thyme and bay leave. Remove whatever ham is left on the bone and add that into the pot as well. Bring to a boil, then reduce to just barely a simmer. Cook like this for 1 hour. Turn the heat back up to medium and stir in the milk and slowly stir in the both the cheeses. Once it starts to bubble again, turn the heat back to low and slowly stir in as much potato flakes as you desire. Make sure you give the potato flakes a chance to work, they won't thicken it as quickly as flour would. Serve with a bit of cheddar cheese and scallions on top.

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