Thursday, November 11, 2010

simple supper-tater soup

It is soup and salad time of the year on the homestead and last night I made us a tasty tater soup for dinner. I must say that it was quite tasty considering I made it up on the fly. Then again, most recipes I post are made up as I go along at least to some extent because I either do not have the ingredients I need or do not use the ingredients that are listed. I also like basic recipes that can have many variations to them yet are frugal to make when I include them in simple supper posts. I do not like looking up budget minded recipes to see that I need a quart of cream to make them or that they cost 10 bucks to make 4 servings of the main course. To me that is not frugal in any way, shape or form. Back when I had to buy more of our food, I allowed for a dollar per person when buying food for an everyday type evening meal and added a dollar on. If there were four people my meal would cost under 5 dollars to prepare. It worked well so is still what I try to base recipes on for frugality

This is not a light soup, it is very filling like a stew but simple to make and is versatile. While I used a bit of bacon in it, it would taste just as good with no meat in it or a substitution. Many different veggies can be added to it and it can be served chunky or creamy. I served ours with a fresh salad and garlic toast but would have been satisfied with just one or the other to accompany the soup. Total cost of the meal for us was for two slices of bacon, flour, some spices and milk used as everything else was grown and made here.

I used left over baked potatoes for our soup and left the skins on. I like chunky soup and only mashed the potatoes with a hand masher rather than a food processor or mixer. I used powdered milk rather than whole milk because we do not use enough milk to justify keeping it around.

tater soup
4 strips bacon cooked and crumbled

2 – 3 tbsp. Bacon drippings

1 large onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

3-4 potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes (use left overs, it cuts prep time way down)

2 cups water (veg or chicken stock is called for, I use water and add my own spices)

1 cup milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook bacon using until crisp. Allow to cool and chop or crumble into small pieces. Reserve several tablespoons of drippings. In large pot over medium heat add 2 tbsp. bacon drippings and cook onions, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Add potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally for a few minutes. Add enough stock to just cover potatoes. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until potatoes are fork-tender. Mash potatoes roughly with a potato masher. Scoop out about half of the remaining mixture and puree in a blender or food processor. Add milk and any veggies you may want and stir to combine well. Taste for seasoning and add more stock if soup is too thick for your liking. Stir in bacon and bring to simmer, stirring often. Serve hot. Garnish with additional crumbled bacon and chives or other herbs.

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