I have been making Potato Soup based on my Grandmother’s Potato Soup Recipe for my years that I care to disclose. Her recipe was simple and included potatoes, butter, onions, celery, bacon, salt and pepper.
Over the years, I could have tried to make it healthier by removing the butter or reducing the amount of bacon grease, but it seems that some things are just hard to let go. I consider myself very fortunate to have Grandparents so many years in my life and for the resulting influences. I have previously written about picking blackberries for my Grandmother, so that she could make jelly and jam. I used to follow her around the yard while she was caring for her flowers and get all excited when she would let me pick a flower. She let me roll out the dough and cut out the biscuits with a metal cup (notice, I used the phrase “let me”).
These are very fond memories for me and perhaps, that is why I still use 1/2 stick of butter and most of the bacon grease.
Although Grandma’s basic potato soup recipe contents are still there, I have added some other ingredients. Many years ago, I started adding milk, green onions and carrots based on some potato soup I had eaten from a friend. Next, I started adding jalapeno peppers or cayenne peppers to the recipe as I entered the hot pepper phase of my life (which still exists). This recipe includes Poblano Peppers, Chicken Broth, cumin and Garlic added based on a recipe I saw over at potato soup recipe.com.
(It takes me almost an hour to prepare the ingredients.)
- 5 to 6 slices of bacon
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup green onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots. Of course, you can make your chopped carrots larger, but I prefer the small pieces.
- 6 cups sliced potatoes. I usually cut the pieces to be about the size of a quarter or a little larger. The measurement is not strict. Sometimes I just grab 4-5 potatoes and cut–up. You can always add another potato if there is too much liquid
- 1 tbsp Kosher Salt
- 1 tbsp Knox’s Cracked Pepper (you can us fresh ground pepper until you try Knox’s.)
- 1 medium to large Jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 2 medium of 1 large Pablano Pepper. The goal is about 1 cup. If there is some pepper remaining beyond 1 cup, I add it to the soup.
- 1 cup Milk
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 32 oz Chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- Optional: Cheddar and/or Jalapeno Cheddar cheese.
- Fry the bacon. Again, maybe it is because the way I learned, but I like to fry the bacon in a cast-iron skillet.
- Remove bacon from the skillet and set aside. Discard about 1/2 of the bacon grease.
- Adjust heat to medium-high for skillet. Add the chopped onion, green onion, celery, carrots, salt, cracked pepper, jalapeno pepper, pablano pepper, cumin and garlic to the skillet. Cook for approximately 5 minutes or until the onions become translucent.
- Pour all the ingredients from the skillet (step 3) into a large pot. Add the water and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 2 hours. Check the soup periodically and if needed, add a little more water.
- When the soup is ready (potatoes are tender), add the milk and let simmer another 20 minutes.
- Serve the soup and top with the bacon. OPTIONAL: You can also add some cheddar or jalapeno cheddar cheese to the bowl when serving. If adding the cheese, include it first and then the bacon (purely for presentation purposes).
I guess that keeping all that butter and bacon grease in the recipe, even with all the extra ingredients, still makes it Grandma’s. For me, making a dish is a good way to share experiences and in this case life-long experiences.