Sunday, November 4, 2007

Soup's On

Potato brocolli cheese soup. So fast and easy, even a caveman can make it. Under an hour and in one pot! Our pot is huge. It is 16 quarts! - all the better to feed the boys!
Begin by slicing 1 to 1-1/2 lbs. bacon into 1" pieces. Put into your soup pot and begin frying until it is a bit crispy. I prefer to use a large stainless steel pot cause the bacon burns a little as it sticks to the bottom. That is brown broth goodness once the water is added. While the bacon is frying, peel the potatoes. Six to eight should do fine. Rinse then chop them into medium bite sized pieces.

Chop 1 large stalk of celery and 2 large onions into bite sized pieces. Spoon drain the bacon grease, leaving a little in the pot for taste. Add the onions and celery. Add seasonings. I like to add Lawry's season salt, black pepper, Lawry's garlic salt and just a couple sprinkles of poultry seasoning - sage, thyme, marjoram, etc. My personal rule of thumb for seasoning is to sprinkle a light layer over whatever is in the pan. Stir fry until onions and celery are cooked and a little browned. Add the potatoes and cover to about 2-3 inches of water. Turn up heat until boiling. Boil until potatoes are fork tender, but not mushy. Turn down the heat and add 3 cans of evaporated milk (not condensed!), 3 cans of cheddar cheese soup. Make sure the heat is on low to medium at this stage so as not to scorch the dairy! Add 2 bags of frozen brocolli. Adding the brocolli at this stage serves two purposes - 1. it helps cool the soup so you can eat it 2. it keeps the brocolli from getting mushy.
Do a taste test and add more seasoning, if you so desire.

At this stage, if the soup is too soupy (watery), I add just a cup or two of mashed potato buds - instant mashed potatoes. Just beware, don't add too many, as the soup will thicken upon standing or as leftovers, but it really does taste better the next day. The flavors just meld together so nicely.

Ladle into a bowl and serve with fresh grated cheese garnish and crusty bread.


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