Perfect Potato Soup

Photo-Potato Soup copyRib stickers can come in many forms. Hearty baked beans, thick and meaty stews and creamy potato soup. When I was a little girl I thought potato soup could only taste one way. Perhaps owing to his distant British descent, Potato soup was one of my grandfather’s favourite foods. My grandmother often made it for him and never deviated from standard procedure. First she would boil those potatoes so long everyone wondered if we’d ever get to eat, then she’d mash those taters together, throw in some chopped onion and season the whole thing with salt and pepper. I think it’s fair at this point to let you know, dear reader, that my grandfather did not like change and poo pooed weird flavours. Dressing had no place on his salads and his favourite vegetable was the boiled brussle sprout.
When I grew older and ventured further from home and it’s ingrained tastes, I discovered that even something as simple as potato soup can have infinite variations. Some versions demand cream while others use stock. Some varieties sustain themselves as vegetarian fair while others are punctuated by meats of every kind. This version of the potato soup is a far cry from my grandmother’s go-to staple but it does share one thing in common with its progenitor- the potato, that starchy, earthy, thick root veg holds everything together and fills you up like very few other vegetables can. Potato soup is a tried a true rib sticker- no matter how you blend it.

4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 c. water
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp oil
1 1/2 c. chopped onion
1 3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp black pepper
2 cans green chillies
1 1/2 c. green pepper, diced
1 c. bacon, cooked and chopped
3/4 c. sour cream
1 c. milk
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Cook cubed potato in water until tender, about twenty minutes. Let cool. Sauté onions in butter and oil over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add salt, cumin, basil, garlic and pepper for a few minutes more then add the green pepper. Give it another three minutes and then remove from heat. Mash the potatoes in their cooking water. Avoid the temptation to stick these in the blender as they tend to get glutinous and gross with a vigorous blade. Think of dear grandmothers everywhere who made delicious soup with a potato masher for years- you can do it! Put all of the ingredients into a big pot and warm the soup up enough to melt the cheese. Don’t let it boil. Serve this heart-warming rib sticker to those you hold near and dear.

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