by Tammy Taylor~
The weather is very raw today – blustery, damp & cold. So I’ve got on my thinkin’ cap making plans for a bone-warming supper for RancherMan & me. What’s my motto, y’all? That’s right, “Use What Cha Got!” So I’m pulling out the ingredients I have available to work with, including leftover smoked sausage from a larger package of sausages, some of my home-canned chicken broth and the last of our fresh potatoes & onions. The big soup pot is at the ready, today I think a comfort-food meal of meaty potato soup is in order!
I chopped the onions & sausages and plopped them into my soup pot with about a tablespoon of bacon grease and cooked them until the onions were translucent. Then I added a quart of homemade broth and my chopped potatoes, minced garlic, salt & coarsely-cracked pepper and put the top back on the soup pot, allowing the potatoes to simmer until they were soft – probably about 20 minutes.
Now some people like their potato soup very smooth, even placing it in a blender to achieve that smooth texture. However it feels like a more substantial meal to RancherMan & me to have noticeable chunks of potato & sausage in our soup, so I just took my wooden spatula and chopped at the soft potatoes until they were as chopped into the soup as I liked. I stirred in a splash of evaporated milk to add a little extra creaminess and seasoned the soup with some tarragon as well as some of the dried thyme I preserved in the fall. I ladled the thick soup into heavy soup crocks and sprinkled just a little sharp cheddar cheese on top. It was delicious and satisfying on such a cold day, and it cost just pennies! I served it up with some jalapeno cornbread for a truly delicious warming supper on a cold blustery day! We even got to enjoy plenty of the leftovers with crackers the next day for lunch. A Two-Fer WIN.
Now here’s the most important part – around the Taylor household (and probably yours too) rigid recipes just don’t fly. Thankfully this recipe can me amended however you like to suit your own tastes. Like a smoother soup? Stick those cooked potatoes/onions in the blender. Less meat? More meat? Creaminess? Brothiness? It’s all up to you! Here’s what I did:
- 2 smoked sausages, chopped
- 4 small or 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon bacon grease
- 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
- 4 cups chicken broth to cover potatoes (water can be substituted if needed)
- 8 medium, 4 large or 3 MAMMOTH potatoes (about 5-8 cups depending on how potatoey you want it)
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Splash of evaporated milk for extra creaminess (optional)
- Shredded cheddar (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste
Chop onions & sausages, saute in bacon grease until unions are translucent, add minced garlic, chopped potatoes and broth, salt & pepper to taste. Put lid on soup pot & simmer until potatoes are very soft (about 20 minutes) Use end of spatula to chop soft potatoes into smaller chunks, stir in dried tarragon & thyme. Add a splash of evaporated milk to add creaminess and serve with a light sprinkling of sharp cheddar on top.
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