When I picked up my youngest today from day care, she was sitting alone in the middle of the floor, crying. All of the other kids around her were busy coloring, playing, or enthralled with the computers. I asked her what was wrong and she thought one of her friends didn't like her anymore... She DID get a Sunshine Report, which would normally make her happy, but not today. Her teacher said she was tired and a little grumpy all afternoon. So, on the way to pick up her sister, I asked if she wanted potato soup for dinner. Since it is one of her favorites, I thought it would help her mood. It did. Immediately, her outlook shifted.
This is one of the ultimate "comfort foods" in our house. Sick, grumpy, bad day, just a case of the blues...they can all be lifted with a batch of potato cheese soup. In the many years that I've been making it--for myself, friends, potlucks, sick neighbors--I've not had one complaint...and rarely have I had leftovers. This has prompted me to make the "big batch" that I do now. 30 minutes later, we have enough for dinner and a lunch...
Potato Cheese Soup
8 med baking potatoes, peeled & cubed
4 cups chicken broth
1 small onion, diced
4 cups milk
4 TBSP butter
4 TBSP flour
4 TBSP roasted red pepper (jar), chopped
2 TBSP flat leaf parsely, chopped
Dash hot sauce
8 ounces shredded cheese (colby-jack, cheddar, pepper jack, etc)
Extra cheese for garnish
Boil the potatoes and onions in the chicken broth until very tender. Puree with an immersion blender or food processor until smooth. Add milk and stir. Keep on low heat.
Make Roux. Combine butter and flour and cook until thick. Add peppers, parsley, hot sauce, and a few twists of fresh ground pepper. Add to potato mixture and mix until smooth and well distributed.
Add cheese just before serving and stir until cheese has melted.
Ladle into bowls and top with extra cheese. Can make "Baked Potato Soup" by adding your favorite toppings: crunchy bacon bits, sour cream, or fresh chives.