Friday, January 3, 2014

Create a .... Potato Soup

We have a leftover holiday ham here at our house. So I was thinking what should I make for dinner that could include ham. Ham and something.......

I also have had potatoes on my mind. They are one of the spotlight vegetables here at Food $ense for the month of January. And we just went grocery shopping, so I have a nice big bag.

Potatoes are great for us budget conscious meal planners. They are relatively inexpensive and can be served lots and lots of ways.  

One of my kids favorite lunches at school is Potato Soup. So tonight I decided to try and create a Potato soup recipe using my Food $ense skills.  I got out my Create a Soup handout and read over the instructions. I knew I needed to somehow make it creamy, but I wasn't sure how do that without adding cream to the soup, my mom always made hers with heavy cream - delicious, but not very budget friendly and certainly not good for us.  Plus, I had just been grocery shopping and wasn't wanting to head back to the store for that missing ingredient.

I read over the instructions...  vegetables, protein, starch, broth or base, this is where I was stumped a little. It just said "milk", but I really wanted the soup to be creamy, like a chowder. Yum!!

Then inspiration struck me up the side of the head. S.O.S. mix! I was out of it, and would have to make some, but I had all the ingredients and it would cost me much less than going to the store for something and it would be fast as can bed.

So I got out the powdered milk, cornstarch, bullion, and onion ( I decided not to add Italian seasoning to this batch, because I wasn't planning on Italian seasoned potato soup). I measured it out and mixed it up before my husband was done washing the potatoes.

The part of dinner that took the longest was all the chopping, I chopped potatoes, celery and onion.
 Then I put the potatoes into the water in just enough water to cook them thoroughly. About halfway through the cooking time ( I planned on about 20 minutes or so) I added the celery and the onion.  I mixed up the S.O.S. mix in a separate container with cold water. I used half of the water that the ratio in the recipe calls for, because I already had a lot of water that the potatoes were cooking in.

When the potatoes tested done, I slowly added the S.O.S. mix while stirring the entire time (so I wouldn't get giant cooked clumps). As soon as the mix was added, I added the ham to heat thoroughly.

 It turned out so delicious! Ezra, my 5 yr old, was super disappointed that it wasn't Tomato soup, but he tried it after the boys were digging into theirs and he sounded pretty surprised when he declared, "Mom, this is actually pretty good".  It was good, creamy and comforting and delicious - all without a trip to the store.
 And just for creative kicks, you can sprinkle the top with cheese and it is amazing good while adding that extra kick of calcium. Yeah, calcium, that is what I tell myself when I am topping things with cheese.