Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cheesy Potato Soup

My food photography skills fail me on this one, but this is the best shot I have of a cheap and hearty meal that has become a weekend staple around my house:  Cheesy Potato Soup.

Including a vegetarian meal at least once a week is a quick way to reduce your food bills while upping your consumption of veggies.  This soup is hearty, satisfying, and will have you warmed up in no time after a day of shoveling snow.  (My thanks to "sal" on Allrecipes.com, who wrote the recipe that served as the inspiration for this version.)

Cheesy Potato Soup
2 T butter (Pasture butter if you can find it.)
1 c diced onions (From the root cellar if you have thought ahead.)
2 1/2 c diced potatoes, unpeeled (From the root cellar; I like the yellow potatoes if you are making a purchase.)
3 c chicken broth (Organic free range is nice.)
1 c heavy cream (Organic, again)
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 T dill weed (Dried from the summer makes it free.)
1/8 t ground cayenne pepper (Ditto on dried from summer.)
A few grinds of salt and pepper

In a large saucepan, saute onions in the butter until they are translucent.  Stir in potatoes and broth and let cook until potatoes are softened.

When potatoes are softened to your liking, add cream, spices, and cheese.  Cook until cheese is melted.  If you are using dill you dried yourself, you will see it "bloom" open, adding a lovely green speckle against the pale yellow of the soup.

Makes 4 servings.  Maybe 3 if you have been shoveling.

The Analysis

Fast:  This takes at most 45 minutes to prep and cook.  Not as fast as a can of soup, but darn quick in the homemade soup world.

Cheap:  This recipe, like many others, is scalable by budget.  Using organic free range broth and organic cream will drive up the price a bit, but these are choices I make because I am not happy with how CAFO animals are treated, and the organic options are at least some better.  On the other hand, relying on home-dried spices and cellared root vegetables will keep the price low. 

Good:  Much heartier and healthier than the glop from a can.
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