January 22, 2014

Potato Soup Bertha Would Be Proud Of

A couple of weeks ago we had a weekend which was blustery and called for potato soup. My grandma Bertha always made potato soup for me; it was one of my favorite things I remember doing with her. Potatoes are a 'sometimes treat' in Paleo but this was Sometimes. And I had a helper.

We got out the bacon, potatoes, carrots, zucchini, celery, and gluten-free chicken stock.

After I peeled 8-10 very large Idaho russets, Mabel rinsed them. We discussed world events and school.

We soaked the potato cubes for about 30 minutes while prepping everything else. The extra soaking helps pull some of the starch out of the potatoes and I find them less "gluey" that way. Mabel enjoyed the rinsing and the soaking.

Then I boiled just a portion of our cubed potatoes on the stove - about 1-2 Cups. Once they were boiled soft, I drained them. After I mashed them up, I set them aside to thicken my soup later.

I chopped 2 ribs of celery very finely. Then I grated 4 carrots and a zucchini. Mabel was fascinated.

My assistant was too little to do any chopping, but she got very excited to stir and transfer multiple times. She's very good at stirring and transferring.

I also had a pot of bacon browning on the stove. When it was finished, I drained the bacon and chopped 1/2 of it into little bits. I also emptied all of the grease from the pot but left all the brown yummies in the bottom.

Mabel and I added the zucchini/carrots/celery mixture to the pot with the bacon yummies and cooked just for a few minutes. It smelled amazing.

Then we added the following ingredients to the big pot with the zucchini/celery/carrots:
- the rest of the soaked, cubed potatoes
- 4 C of chicken stock (water + the delicious gluten-free chicken gel up there)
- 4 C of water
- salt and pepper to taste

We boiled the soup long enough for the potatoes to soften.

When it was getting close to finished, Mabel added 1 C of heavy cream to a little saucepot. I added another 1 C of skim milk and a pinch of baking soda (the baking soda prevents the milk from separating in the hot soup). We kept the saucepot over medium heat until the milk mixture was hot, stirring frequently and watching for accidental bubble-overs. Once hot, we poured it into the soup.

At this point all of the people in my house came into the kitchen and got under our armpits. Everyone was hungry and circling and sniffing. And each of the littles wanted to be mommy's helper when they should have been nicer to Mabel and not kicked her out of their 'club' earlier. Ahem.

It was time for bacon! We added the 1/2 lb of chopped bacon pieces to the soup. Finally, we added the mashed potatoes we reserved into the soup as well, using a whisk to break them up gently.

After some added salt and pepper and of course shredded cheddar cheese on top, it was ready to eat!

Mabel picked her toes to celebrate.

And now:

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