Date:         Sun, 16 Feb 2003 13:02:54 +0000
From:         CMMPDX2 @
Subject:      Potato Soup

A very simple version, here; more of a peasant-type soup, very hearty and
tangy. (i.e., *not* for those dieting or watching cholesterol. but it's
wonderful if you've been out in the cold for hours, hang the calories.) It's
from my paternal Grandmother, so probably of Czech or Slovak origin. Since I
learned to make it by simply watching my mother, the measurements are all
approximate. However, if you've ever made a cream sauce before, you shouldn't
have any problem adjusting as necessary. You do want a heavy cream sauce, not
a thin one, since the remaining water from boiling the potatoes will thin it
down considerably. And while you may scream at the instructions to let the
sauce come to a boil, don't freak; it keeps the vinegar from making it curdle!

Note - cream soups do *not* really heat up well, even in a microwave. You can
do it, but they won't taste nearly as great as they do freshly made. We
always make just enough to eat immediately.

Potato Soup

Approx. 2 servings

3 small or 2 medium russet potatoes
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 to 5 tablespoons flour
approx. 1 cup whole milk or half&half
1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons white vinegar, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon onion powder (optional; I like more onion flavor, so I use this
instead of adding more onion salt.)
salt, pepper, onion salt
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

Peel and cube potatoes. In 1-quart saucepan, simmer potatoes in salted water
until barely tender. Drain off all but about 1/2 cup water and keep warm.
In a small heavy skillet, melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Add
parsley, several shakes of salt, pepper, onion salt, and the onion powder.
Whisk in flour until the melted butter has absorbed as much as it can. Then
slowly add milk or half&half, whisking continually, to blend thoroughly until
no lumps remain. You want the sauce to be about the consistency of a fairly
thin gravy at this point - it will thicken more. Add more milk or half&half
if necessary as it thickens; the amount will vary, so err on the side of too
little - you can always add more. Keep stirring over medium heat until sauce
thickens and *just* comes to a boil. It should be very thick, so watch it to
make sure it doesn't scorch at the very end.

As soon as the cream sauce begins to bubble, add it to the saucepan with the
potatoes and remaining water. Bring back to a simmer, stirring gently to
blend the sauce in without breaking up the potato cubes. Once it comes to a
simmer, add 1-1/2 tablespoons white vinegar and blend in. Taste, and adjust
vinegar and other seasonings to your preference. You can add more milk or
half&half if you got the cream sauce too thick--but it should be thicker than
your average clam chowder, for instance.
Great served with hot sourdough bread. Nowadays, a salad is a good idea, too,
because a dietitian would probably scream if you didn't have something green
with it!