The Comfort of Childhood: Cream of Potato Soup

The crisp Fall air rolling in causes colorful leaves to flutter from their trees, and signifies the beginnings of Soup Weather. While I often prefer a soup with a lot going on, sometimes the most comforting soup is also the most simple.

When I was a kid, my favorite soup was Campbell’s Cream of Potato Soup. I don’t know what is was about that condensed soup with a smattering of potato bits. Maybe it was because I could make it for myself after school, or maybe it was the novelty of mixing milk into the glob o’ canned soup instead of water, but Campbell’s Cream of Potato was my go-to soup on a cold day for a large chunk of my childhood.

I don’t remember when I outgrew the Campbell’s, but like most childhood things, I did. Then, once when I was in college–back when swirling a beaten egg into Ramen noodles was considered fine dining–I bought a can of cream of potato for the sake of nostalgia. I wish I could say that it was as good as I remembered…but it was awful! I was more than a little bummed that my old favorite turned out to be much more bland than I remembered.

 

As an adult, I set out to recreate the comforting soup that I subsisted on as a kid. Eventually, I learned how to make a cream of potato soup that lived up to my childhood memories: smooth and creamy, with nice big chunks of potatoes–and it doesn’t take all that much longer to prepare than a canned soup–I can get it on the table in about half an hour. I’ve played around with the recipe and tried to fancy-it-up with roasted garlic, leeks, cheese, or bacon, but I must say that I prefer the unadorned version best. I think the real comfort comes from it’s simplicity. My Cream of Potato Soup will warm the heart on a cool Fall day.

♥♥♥

Cream of Potato Soup

http://comfortablydomestic.com

Serves 4 to 6

A smooth, creamy potato soup with nice big chunks of potatoes that’s ready in about the time as it takes to prepare than a canned soup, but tastes so much better. 

Prep Time: 25 minutes, Cook Time: 25 minutes, Total Time: 50 minutes

 

5 large Yukon Gold potatoes (or 4 large russets,) peeled and diced into ½ inch chunks

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

7 C. low-sodium chicken stock

½ tsp. kosher salt

¼ tsp. white pepper

¼ tsp. dried thyme

¾ C. half & half (or heavy whipping cream)

Melt butter in the bottom of a large stock pot set over medium heat, until butter is frothing. Sauté the minced garlic in the butter for 30 seconds.

Add the chicken stock and potatoes to the stock pot. Raise the heat to medium-high to bring stock to a boil. Continue to boil for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until potatoes are tender.

Reduce heat to low. Season soup with salt, pepper, and thyme and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove 1 ½ cups of the potatoes with little broth from the pot. Puree the potatoes with the half & half in a blender or food processor until smooth. (Additional broth may be added to the blender by the tablespoon, if necessary to get a smooth consistency.

Stir the pureed mixture back into the soup in the stock pot and heat through.

Serve hot.

♥♥♥

What was your go-to afterschool snack as a kid?

Do you love it as much now as you did then?

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Comments

  1. Not Inadequate says

    I love-love-LOVE potato soup.

    Actually, I love potatoes in any form.

    Favorite after-school snack was a plate of saltine crackers with some cheddar cheese grated over the top, melted in the microwave juuuust long enough to get the cheese to melt, but not make the crackers soggy. I had it again a couple months ago and it was still yummy.

    • says

      Your potato soup sounds wonderful, well…because of the bacon! I’ll have to try your version soon! And yes, there is just something heart-warming about your mom’s homemade cookies after school.

  2. says

    Mmm…I could eat soup every day. This looks like a perfect fall soup! 😉
    After school–I went through phases, but yup–cup o noodles was one of them. My boys are going through the “make your own nachos” phase currently. Not bad.

  3. says

    What a wonderful simple soup! Definitely putting this one in my files to make this winter.

    When I was young, my favorite after school snack was Raisin Bran. I haven’t eaten it for years now, but I just might buy a box on my next shopping trip!

    • says

      I still love Raisin Bran–it’s the perfect nighttime snack when you want something sweet and don’t want a big bowl of ice cream. Or more realistically, for when you want something sweet and are *out* of ice cream.

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