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I don’t know about you but I am in serious comfort food mode. Last week I made 2 different soups, a pot roast, a beautiful roasted chicken and mashed potatoes for my family. In addition to all the comfort foods I mentioned I do believe I set a record for grilled cheese sandwiches eaten in a week. I am blaming my cooking enthusiasm on two things. First the change of seasons, fall is my favorite, I just want to hunker down with a good bowl of soup and a great movie. This brings me to the second reason for my enthusiasm. The movie “Chef”. If you haven’t had the chance and love food movies I highly recommend viewing “Chef”. One of my favorite scenes is when the Chef makes a grilled cheese for his son. Grilled cheese is true comfort, perfect in its simplicity. I think that is why comfort food is so magical. It is simple, satisfying, and usually has a memory tied to it. I know I immediately go back to being a kid in my parents’ house when I make ‘Those Mashed Potatoes’. For my family I would say their favorite comfort food is macaroni and cheese and the recipe I am sharing with you today. Simple Potato Soup. I love making this and now I know my guys won’t starve on cold fall night because now they can make their moms potato soup. But we all know everything tastes better when mom makes it!
7-8 slices good bacon-chopped into small pieces.
1 yellow onion diced
2 cloves garlic chopped
3-4 stalks of celery Remember to use the leaves! LOTS of flavor!
5 big Russets
8 cups Chicken or Veggie Stock
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons flour
½ cup cream, half and half, or just regular milk
1 Tablespoon Herb de province
Cook bacon in soup pot until crisp. Remove from pan and set aside. I usually hide the crispy cooked bacon from the guys (yeah…the guys).
Remove MOST of the bacon grease. Sauté onions, garlic, and celery until soft. Add potatoes. Add stock and all other ingredients except the flour and milk. Cook on medium-high ish until the potatoes are soft. Reduce heat. Mix flour and milk together and add.
Using an emersion blender or regular old blender blend the soup until it reaches your desired consistency. Some people like smooth, some like chunky, I like a little between.
Top with grated cheese and bacon. Toss some chopped green onions or if you’re like me and feel the need for more greens, toss a handful of spinach or Kale in the bottom of your bowl.
Andrea Charroin is a teacher who is also a trained baker and was a pastry chef in San Francisco before she and her family moved to Redding. After falling in love with Redding’s downtown, Andrea and husband Westley opened a little pastry shop, Rene-Joule Patisserie, across from the Cascade Theatre. For the three years Rene-Joule was in business, it was renowned for making everything from scratch, using the best ingredients and keeping with a seasonal menu. To this day, Andrea is asked about her Marathon Bars, Orange Twists and sourdough bread.