Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My "Pimped Out" Potato Soup - Practically Perfect in Every Way

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Aren't words funny?

This last weekend, Jackie and I (and another couple) went on an outing.  Temps for November in Kansas were unusually mild, bright blue skies, just a perfect day.  We drove down to the Osceola Cheese Factory in rural Missouri.  I doubt if Vermont and Wisconsin is too concerned, but the Cheese factory makes all their own cheese, made with locally produced dairy products and offers a wide variety of classics and should be classics at a really low price.

And they offer free samples of EVERY one of the 80 varieties of cheese they produce!


Colby, Swiss and Cheddar were easy choices.  But how about Hickory Smoked Green Onion Provolone, Smoked Jalapeño Gouda or Havarti with Horseradish and Chive???  Pass the sample toothpicks!

But once I saw and tasted "Morel Mushroom and leek Jack", I knew I had a future with this cheese.

Really really good!

Which brings me back to funny words.  My buddy Shawn was doing the driving.  He picked us up in his shiny newly washed SUV.  I'm the kind of guy that quotes Mary Poppins and told him it looked, "practically perfect in every way".  He responded that he had just stopped to, "pimp his ride".  Seemed out of place for a middle aged white guy with grey hair and a pot belly from the suburbs of Kansas to be quoting Hip Hop (BTW, that's Shawn in the photo above flashing gang signs).

But it got me thinking when I tried to name the soup.  This is an original recipe (combination of a dozen that I read but wanted to tweak), so i get to name it...

Is it "Pimped Out Potato Soup", or is it...

"Potato Soup - Practically Perfect in Every Way"

Read the recipe, you decide and vote...

Here's what I did...

My "Pimped Out" Potato Soup -
Practically Perfect in Every Way

  • 2 TBS Butter
  • 2 TBS Flour
  • 1 Medium Onion, diced
  • 6 Large Russet Potatoes, peeled, sliced and diced into quarter size pieces
  • 2 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 Cups 1/2 and 1/2
  • 2 Cups Good Melting Cheese, Shredded (I used "Morel Mushroom and Leek Jack"), or use Provolone
  • 2 TBS "Not Your grandmother's Herbes de Provence", divided
  • 1 Pound Asparagus, the tips cut @3 inches, the remaining diced 1/2 inch size
  • Bacon, cut into squares (Bacon, Bacon, Bacon)!!!
  • Green Onions, sliced thin
  • Minced Parsley (just for color)
  • More Cheese, shredded (I used "Morel Mushroom and Leek Jack")
Cooking Directions
  1. First, Make a Roux... Melt the butter over low-medium heat, add the flour slowly and stir CONSTANTLY. Stir for about 10 minutes, CONSTANTLY (do not let it burn). Suddenly, you will see the mixture begin to darken and you will smell a nutty aroma... Heaven.
  2. When you smell the nutty aroma, add the onions and stir every minute for 5 minutes, until the onions become translucent
  3. Move the onion roux to a large soup pot. Add the Chicken Stock and heat to gentle boil
  4. Add the potatoes and 1 TBS of the "Not Your grandmother's Herbes de Provence" Spice mix.
  5. Allow to simmer for 45 minutes, then add the Cream and Cheese, return to simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
  6. While that is simmering, Cook the bacon to be used as a condiment
  7. Remove the bacon and discard all but 1 TBS of the bacon fat, add the asparagus and sautee for 3 minutes.
  8. If the soup is not thick enough for your tastes, add a slurry of 1 tsp of cornstarch mixed with 2 tsp milk, stir everything, keeping an eye to thickness. You want this thick and rich
  9. line the bottom of your soup bowl with the asparagus stalks
  10. Ladle in the soup
  11. decorate with the Asparagus tips and the condiments
  12. Serve HOT and Enjoy
Spice Mixes I Love!OK, a note about my Herb mix...

"Not Your grandmother's Herbes de Provence" is my own mix of Mediterranean herbs and spices.  I make a batch every month or so, and use it in LOTS of things.

Feel free to substitute your own favorite herbs, like dill for this.  Or make your own combinations, like dill, garlic and rosemary.  But if you want to be lazy, just make a batch of this, use it often and really spice up your life.


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Recipes for Soup, Chili or Chowder" (Now more than 52 and still growing)

Soup from Scratch is one of the great kitchen joys.  The house smells amazing and the soup warms to the bone.  From broth to chowder, vegetarian to loaded up chili... Even a great idea for a party (love the Potato Soup Bar idea).  Come take a look, sure to have something you might like to try.  All recipes have been tested and WORK!


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