I’m gonna steal one out of Blaise Doubman’s book and share with you a recipe my boyfriend and I invented for an obnoxiously large pot of potato soup.
My boyfriend and I like to make dinners from scratch, or mostly from scratch. So last Monday, when I really wanted a large bowl of potato soup, we quickly searched the internet for a basic potato soup recipe and then ventured to Kroger for the ingredients.
The recipe we found had three ingredients and no measurements, so we started with those three and kind of wung the rest of it. But that’s typically how recipes go in the Gunnell family – throw stuff into a pot until it tastes good, and only the best tasting versions get added to the family cookbook.
We started by peeling and cutting up eight Idaho potatoes into roughly 2-inch square chunks and boiled them until we could poke a fork in them easily, but they didn’t fall apart. We called this “almost done potatoes.” Drain the water.
In a separate pan we fried up thick-cut bacon, which we would use to garnish our soup. We took the bacon out and then melted a block of cheddar cheese in the same greasy pan. The bacon-cheese flavor was intense.
Then we added the cheese, a half a stick of butter, sliced scallions, and an unmeasured pour of half and half that looking back on it was probably about a fourth of the container. We were going to use heavy cream instead of half and half, but half and half was two dollars cheaper for twice the amount of liquid.
Then we poured whole milk into the container. How much? I’m not sure. Enough to completely cover the potato-looking mush of food. I would like to note we did not stir or mash anything prior to adding in the milk.
Then we put the not-yet-soup back on high heat and occasionally stirred it. I think in total we had it on the stove for 30 minutes. We just taste tested it until the result was satisfying.
It was really liquidy, so at some point after a taste test my boyfriend added a sprinkle of flour to thicken it up. It worked, but I can’t tell you how much he added. I know it was very little.
When the soup came out, it was creamy and tasteful, but we could tell it was missing something. We garnished it with bacon and added salt and pepper – more pepper than salt. It was still missing something, but we were never able to figure out what. I suggested cilantro, but he disagreed.
We put the stove on low to let the soup simmer, then ate the soup out on his balcony. When we came back in, the soup had cooled into a fantastic loaded mashed potatoes (I have no idea how). The mashed potatoes made an excellent lunch the next day. Reheating the potatoes did not turn it back into soup.
Hannah Gunnell is a reporter for The Shelbyville News. Potatoes are her favorite food.