Sunday, October 3, 2010

Kitchen Disaster (sort-of): Mashed Potato Soup

I knew I was due for it... everything I've cooked lately has turned out better than expected, so I knew it was coming.  And the disaster shall be called... "Mashed Potato Soup."  More on that in a minute.

So, over the past week, we've finally started getting some fall weather.  This morning, the temperature was in the 50s and then this afternoon it was sunny and warm, but not hot.  I LOVE Fall.  It's the time of year where I pull out all the cinnamon and pumpkin-flavored candles and make soups and stews... I love it!  I love winter and the holiday season, too, but sometimes it gets so crazy that you can't stop and enjoy it.

So, I decided to do some cooking today to make the rest of the week easier.  First, I cooked a huge batch of Chicken Noodle Soup.  That's for tomorrow and for lunches this week.  And I can't wait to show you pics tomorrow.  It tasted so good. 

The other recipe I decided to try was from All You Magazine, and it was "Mashed Potato Soup."  It sounded fabulous.  Rich and hearty, with cheese, bacon, and onion mixed in.  YUMMO. 

The first step to this recipe required me to melt 4 tsp. of butter in a saucepan and then to whisk in 1/3 cup of all purpose flour until "golden brown and smooth."  Kind of like making a Roux, I guess, which I have never done.  Well, as I did this, it just basically turned into a ball of play-doh.  When I added the milk for step 2, it was like play doh-soup.  GROSS.  So I thought, maybe I didn't whisk it long enough.  Will it liquify if I just keep moving the dough around?  So I tried again.  The same thing happened again.  I kept on whisking and whisking over heat and all that was happening was that I was sweating more and getting more frustrated.  Finally, I got tired of it and dumped it all out and started a third time.  So now, I had used almost a half-gallon of milk!  This time I didn't bother with the flour/butter part.  I started with a base of milk and used corn starch to thicken it. 

Overall, the soup was good...  Sadie ate a whole bowl, which is unheard of, and Ryan ate two bowls.  So I guess it was a success.  But I would have liked if it had worked and I hadn't wasted so much milk!  I think I was just so frustrated that it made it harder to enjoy it.

Oh well... I guess those disasters are going to happen from time to time. I just got all the aftermath cleaned up, FINALLY.  Now, time to relax and try to avoid the "Sunday Night Blues."  Luckily, Sunday night is a good TV night.  Is anyone watching the new HBO show, "Boardwalk Empire"?  We love it! 

Here's the potato soup recipe.

4 russet potatoes
4 tsp. butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk (I used skim)
4 oz. sour cream (I used light)
4 oz. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, plus extra for topping
4 slices bacon (I used turkey bacon) crumbled
2-3 Tbsp. sliced green onions or chives
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Use a fork to pierce potatoes all over, and then bake them until soft.  (Or you can microwave them-- either way works.)
2.  Scoop out the insides of the potato and mash with a fork.  Discard skins.
3.  Melt butter in a saucepan.  Add 1/3 cup of flour and whisk until smooth and golden brown- about 2 minutes.  Then, slowly add milk, a little at a time, and whick until thickened, about 5-6 minutes. (This is where I had the trouble.)
4.  Add potatoes, sour cream, and cheese.  Add salt and pepper to taste. 
5.  Serve topped with extra cheese, bacon crumbles, and green onions.


  1. Hey Liz! Oh, girl I feel your pain on the roux. Over the years I've figured out that the best roux ratio is 1:1. I think the recipe simply called for too much flour. You didn't do anything wrong and it is a great way to thicken a soup. Don't give up on the method. I was laughing because I've nearly gone through a gallon of milk myself trying to figure it out!

    Isn't it the best when the fam eats up your creations! Thank you so much for your sweet comments Liz. I'm so glad you love that Giada recipe like I do. It's so easy but sooooo good.

  2. Ugh! Roux can be the worst! So much stirring, only to have it come out wrong. Sounds like your soup was delicious anyway, good save..even got the stamp of approval from the kids!


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