You’d think that, with as many minions as I have, and being married to Wolf, that subject matter for my blog would be easy to come by.
I found myself announcing to my family, “You’re acting normal! Be funny, darn it!”
Even things at the Non Stepford home can be mundane.
I mean, sure, we tell Terror Toddler not to bite the dog. Or drive cars into her ear.
Cubby has decided that attempting to stand was a good idea, and I suggested pushing him over each time he tries…which Wolf objected to. Spoil sport.
So, I find myself struggling for something to write about. And, I wonder, how about a recipe? Then I realize, I don’t actually measure anything. Kind of hard to post a recipe when you can’t give exact measurements on anything, isn’t it?
Well, I’m going to try anyways.
Cooking for a crew this size means searching out decent cost food, that’s filling and nutritious. It can definitely be a challenge.
So, here’s one recipe that I’ve come up with. It originally started out as ‘Baked Potato Soup’, but it’s been modified, repeatedly over time. Now, we simply call it, “Potato Soup” or, “Potato Chowder”. I purposefully make extra mashed potatoes so I can either put them in the freezer, or make this soup the next day. Please keep in mind that this recipe can/should be halved, or even quartered, if you’re not feeding the crowd that I do.
Left over mashed potatoes
2 cups of frozen mixed veggies
One package of bacon
4 boxes of chicken broth
Heavy cream (whipping cream) 500 mL
Optional: cheddar cheese, sour cream, celery
OK. Start by chopping up the raw bacon, toss it in the bottom of your soup pot. As it’s cooking, add in one onion, chopped. I prefer it chopped finely, but do what you find best. In the last batch I made, I had some celery that was on it’s last legs, so that was chopped and tossed in with the onion and bacon.
Looks nummy, doesn’t it?
Once bacon is cooked (I prefer it chewy, not crispy) drain it. Trust me, soup with bacon grease floating on the top of it is gross. Add about half a box of broth, stirring with a whisk, to get all of the browned bacon off the bottom of the pot. Return the bacon and onion to the pot, and add in the rest of the broth.
Add in two tablespoon of poultry seasoning. Garlic, about 2 teaspoons. I taste test it after these additions, and add in more if need be. Same with salt and pepper. A few twists of the pepper mill, and taste test it. Then I add in the left over mashed potatoes, and whisk the heck out of it. This thickens the soup to a ‘chowder’ consistency, and whisking it ensures that there aren’t odd lumps of mashed potatoes lurking about.
With this recipe, there are options. I like options. One of the options is what to do with the potatoes. If you’re making this soup hours ahead of when you plan to eat it, I peel them, chop them, and toss them in raw, because they’re going to cook anyways. (OK, technically, I get someone else to peel and chop, but you know what I mean). If I’m putting it together an hour before eating, I bake the potatoes in microwave first. Peel them, chop them up. Into the pot they go.
Once soup is simmering, I dump in about two cups of frozen mixed veggies. You can probably add in any veggies in the fridge that appeal to you, that need to be used up. I’ve never tried tomatoes, but celery, carrots, broccoli…they’ve all been added at some point or another, and worked well. Stir it up, cover.
From then on, I stir about every 20 minutes or so, and keep it on low.
15 minutes prior to serving, I add in the whipping cream. Heat it through, and ta da! Potato soup!
Some folks like to add in sour cream, and/or grated cheddar cheese, either in the serving itself, or to the soup pot. Personally, I don’t, because a) it’s a budget thing and b) the soup is fantastic on it’s own, and really doesn’t need anything more.
Now, here’s the thing: this recipe makes enough to feed MY crew for 3 meals, and even then have a bit left over. So, unless you’re feeding the amount of folks I am, halve the recipe. Even quarter it, depending on how many folks you’re feeding, and how many meals you want to be eating soup for.
I’ve never frozen this soup. I suspect the cream content wouldn’t freeze well, so I haven’t risked it yet. If you make this and freeze it, let me know how it goes!
Oh, here’s a rough cost break down:
Potatoes: I get 10 lbs for about $6. So, between the mashed and the baked, I’m going to guess about $2 for that.
Boxed broth: I stock up on sale. At *most* I pay $2 each. So, $8
Frozen veggies: I buy the huge bags, again, on sale, so I pay about $5….I’m going to round up and say I use about $1 worth of frozen veggies.
Bacon: again, I stock up on sale, and that’s about $4
Onion: maybe $.50?
Whipping cream: $3
So, the entire recipe, as is…$18.50. And, it feeds 3 adults (Diva’s taller than I am), 2.5 children (Boo is about .5 of a kidlet when it comes to eating, compared to the Middle Minions) at LEAST 3 times.
So, breaking it down further, that equals roughly $3 a serving. Not bad! Actually, thinking about it, it’s more like $3 per meal, as folks often have seconds at a meal.