Potato Soup

Is there a simple food that takes you back in time? One of mine is potato soup. Mom used to make it a lot when we were young. It was cheap, and when served along with sandwiches (usually tuna salad), it was filling, too. For some reason, over the years, the plain and simple potato soup of childhood morphed into a more upscale chowder with other vegetables, cheese and bacon added. For awhile I have had a hunger for the old-fashioned version. I cooked it for lunch today…

Started with a few potatoes…brown and rough, dirt still clinging to them from when they were dug up and packaged for sale. Rinsed them under a clear stream of water and lightly scrubbed the dirt away. Found a sharp paring knife, peeled the brown away in long strips. Got out the cutting board and a bigger knife. Cut the potatoes into halves, sliced the halves, cut into strips (could have been homemade French fries!), then chopped into little pieces (could have called them cubes, but they were too irregular in shape and size). Dumped them into a saucepan (back in the day, Mom would have peeled a LOT more potatoes and dumped them into her club aluminum Dutch oven). Added water to cover the potatoes and sprinkled in a little salt. Chopped a couple of stalks of celery, along with the leaves. Stirred the celery into the pot. Left it to simmer until the potatoes were soft. It smelled like I remembered.Poured in some milk until it “looked right.” Added a small hunk of butter. Left it to simmer a while longer until the milk was heated through and the butter melted. Came back to ladle some into a bowl. Took a stack of saltines, held them above the bowl, crushed them in my hands, lets them fall on top of the soup. Ummm, good. Savored it. Each bite also brought another memory. The kitchen in our old house. Mom at the stove. A neighbor sharing a bowl of soup. Gossiping around the table. Washing the dishes with my sister.

Next time, though, I need some tuna salad on toasted bread…

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This entry was posted in home and family, memories, SOLSC March 2014. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Potato Soup

  1. Potato soup sounds so good right now! It is definitely at the top of my list for one of my favorite comfort foods. I too love the memories that can be brought back from potato soup. I found myself thinking…yes…that is exactly how I do it! 🙂

  2. This sounds like a perfect thing to do on the first day of your Spring break, nourishing and reflecting. The details you included had me seeing each step.

  3. arjeha says:

    We make potato soup a lot for meatless Fridays during Lent. We dice an onion and cook it with the potatoes. W also hard boil about 5 eggs and add them and some parsley for the last five minutes of cooking time. Never tried it with celery. Will have to give that a shot.

  4. marc-aureled says:

    Your soup sounds delicious and the crushed Saltines always make the soup more comforting.

  5. nf says:

    Started with a few potatoes…brown and rough, dirt still clinging to them from when they were dug up and packaged for sale. I love this line, so descriptive and precise.

    Your description of making the soup is so interesting to me…. you are so eloquent in how you describe each step, and yet its not precise, not from a recipe, it truly is a little bit of this and little bit of that type of dish, but yet you were very certain to do things just so.

    I love how the taste, the smell, the memories of your Mom/Grandma making a certain dish can take you immediately back in time and place.

    Thanks for sharing, and I hope you enjoyed your soup …. today definitely would have been a potato soup type of day around here!

  6. Sounds delicious! Wish I had thought to make soup tonight. It’s still so cold here, it would have been perfect!

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