Another dish that this Texan had never heard of was potato soup.
I found it was a staple in these parts and was eaten with oyster crackers. I thought, “Ick!! Oyster. Crackers!!???” No oysters were used in the making of these crackers, however and thank goodness. They were just round and little. Other than that, they were just like regular saltine crackers, that were not round.
Eventually, I found a couple of recipes that I really really liked. It took a while because the versions I had tasted prior to that were pretty bland. I found one in our weekly Saturday edition of High Plains Journal. The other came from a good friend who was the Home Economics teacher here. I combined the two and came up with a simple soup that goes together fast and uses ingredients we all usually have in our pantries and fridges.
Trust me on this one. It is GOOD! It’s a great soup to make for a cold, snowy night. It’s a great soup to take to a sick friend. It’s a great soup to take to a church soup supper. It’s. Just. Great.
Christmas Eve Potato Soup
5 cups, peeled and diced potatoes
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrots
6 slices cooked, crisp bacon, crumbled
2 cups water
2 1/2 teaspoons chicken bouillon (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper (or black)
2 cups milk
2 cups cream (or evaporated milk)
1 1/2 cup Velveeta cheese, grated or sliced thin (honestly, I just chop off some cheese and throw it in!)
1 cup (or more) Grated cheddar cheese
Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large Dutch oven and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Add bacon pieces, bouillon, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add milk and cream and bring to a low simmer. When the soup starts to simmer, add Velveeta cheese and stir until it melts.
Add a handful of cheddar cheese (we prefer sharp but CoJack or Pepper Jack would be good too) and melt into the soup. Let the soup simmer for about 30 minutes at the lowest heat possible. You don’t want to scorch it.
If you like your soup thicker, mix up some flour and milk and pour in slowly while stirring desired thickness.
Serve with more cheddar cheese sprinkled on top, along with some parsley (there’s your “green”) and maybe more crumbled bacon. Whoa mama GOOD!!
You can serve some garlic bread or cornbread alongside this soup. Our Home Ec teacher added french style green beans and sometimes ham instead of bacon.
This is also a good soup to serve with sandwiches for a Super Bowl party!