Food and Garden Dailies started as a way to record my family's favorite recipes. It has come in handy many times when I'm asked for a recipe. I simply email a link to the blog! But I couldn't just stick to recipes. The kitchen is tied to the garden in so many ways...and so I let you into my ever changing garden as well.

If you're interested in my all-time favorite recipes, check out this post first: My Favorite Recipes

Friday, September 28, 2007

Potato Cheese Soup

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Continuing the comfort food posts this week...

When I worked in the mall during college, my favorite lunch was when Marie Callender's had their potato cheese soup available. Oh, it was good! Years later, after living away from Marie Callender's for many years, Google comes along, and lo and behold...there is a knock-off version of this recipe available. Now, is it really their recipe? Probably not, but it sure is tasty & is near the top of my comfort food list.

Marie Callender's Potato Cheese Soup

On medium low heat in a 3 quart sauce pan sauté:
4 TB Butter
½ C Finely Diced Yellow Onion

½ C Finely Diced Celery

2 Cans Chicken Broth (14.5 oz)
1/4 C.Water

4 C Finely Sliced and Diced Potatoes (peeled)

Place on medium low heat and cook until potatoes are very soft and tender.

When potatoes are done add:
4 Chicken Bouillon Cubes
Cook until cubes have been dissolved.
Mash the potatoes slightly, leaving most of them in chunks.

Reduce heat and add:
2 + 1/4 C. Half and Half *
4 TB cornstarch (more if still runny)*

Stir mixture, and add:
8 oz Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese**
Stir until cheese is completely melted and dissolved into mixture.

1/2 tsp. Sugar*** 1/4 tsp. White Pepper

Let soup simmer very slowly for 20 - 30 minutes taking care not to let soup scorch. When ready to serve, garnish with shredded cheese and maybe a little parsley.

Can be doubled and frozen.

* Try using 2 C Half & Half, and less cornstarch. I find the consistency is a little better. Also, I recommend whisking the cornstarch with a little bit of the half & half (like 1/4 C of it) and then adding that smooth mixture to the pot. It won't get clumpy. I use Land O' Lakes fat free half & half.

** I added a bit more cheese, just because it was leftover from the block.

*** I skip the sugar.

I also add chunks of ham to this recipe. At Easter time I always have a lot of cooked ham leftover. I chop it up, and vacuum seal it, adding it to dishes like this later in the year.

Anyway, if you try making it, let me know what you think!

Added on 10/6/07: Last night I got out one of the frozen bags of soup. It thawed very quickly (about 20 minutes) in a sink of hot tap water. I poured the soup into microwave proof bowls, and heated it up. I was a wee bit worried that it might have a grainier texture after freezing. I honestly couldn't tell the difference between the just-made batch and the frozen batch. So, I'll be making more of this one.


Angelina said...

There is nothing I love better in this world (with regards to food) than the happy combination of potatoes and cheese. Oh yum! and I can totally make this. Have you actually frozen it and successfully defrosted it?

I ask because I was thinking of making a cauliflower gratin with those enormous cauliflowers at Harvest Fresh and freezing it but I was wondering how well cheese sauce freezes.

dg said...

I've made it several times before, but hadn't frozen it. Last week I made three batches, with some in the freezer and I'm hoping it's not too grainy. I'll let you know when we defrost & eat!

Angelina said...

Where are you?

liannallama said...

oh, man! That sounds delish!