Hey there and welcome to another installment of the Meal Plan. Well we’ve officially passed the midway point of November and only ten days away from United States Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, this time of year is also the start of the cold and flu season, so we thought that it would be a good idea to talk about a great comfort food to both prevent and nurse us in the event that we do get sick. And when you’re sick, the number one go-to food is soup.
The word soup is used to describe any food that primarily consists of liquid, with a few solid masses inside. They are generally classified into two main bodies—clear soups and thick soups—and each one has various sub-categories based on ingredients and preparation. Soups are often compared to, and sometimes confused with stews, but the main way to tell them apart is that stews are thicker and generally have more solid food than soup.
Clear soups are named after the fact that their broth is clear or mostly-clear to look in, so you can see the other ingredients. Classic examples of clear soups include beef soup, chicken soup (including the popular home remedy chicken-noodle soup) and vegetable soups. There are two main kinds of clear soups—Bouillon and Consommé. A Bouillon soup is a soup whose broth comes from boiling various herbs and beef together before serving. A consommé is prepared from a bouillon that has been clarified, which uses egg whites and shells to remove fats and sediment from the broth. Nowadays most soups are prepared from pre-made broths found in any supermarket, typically chicken and beef based ones.
A thick soup is the category that most soups fall under. They are classified by being very thick and opaque, with textures that can be borderline chunky. Two examples of thick soups are chowders and cream soups. Chowders are soups mixed with cream or milk, and served with all manner of seafood or vegetables. Sometimes the chowder is thickened further with crushed crackers, which are also used to sop up the mixture. Cream soups are, as the name says, pureed soups that have had large amounts of cream added to the broth. One of the most popular forms of cream soup is Cream of mushroom soup, which includes diced mushrooms and/or mushroom broth, though there are other recipes that can include vegetables, meat, fish, and grains. Other examples of thick soups include pureés—vegetable soups put through a food processor or blender—or any soup that has been thickened with starch or a slurry, a mixture of water and starch added to the broth.
There are countless possibilities and combinations available when making soup. They can be a simple vegetable based soup that can be ready in as little as a half hour from scratch or as complex as a consomme that takes a couple of days to properly prepare. For today’s recipe, I’m going to take the simple approach and provide you with a delicious potato soup recipe from food.com that anyone can make with very little prep time and simple ingredients guaranteed to be found in most homes.
Unbelievably Easy Potato Soup
- 1 large potato, per person
- 1⁄4 cup chopped celery, per person (include leaves)
- 1⁄4cup chopped onion, per person
- 1⁄4 to 1⁄2cup milkor 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup half-and-half or 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup cream
- salt and pepper
- Peel and cube potatoes. Mix in a saucepan along with the onions and celery.
- Add enough water to cover the saucepan, but don’t quite cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil on lower heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are very tender.
- Using a potato masher, coarsely crush the potatoes, but don’t mash them—you’ll want chunks left.
- Add enough milk or cream to thin to desired thickness and add salt& pepper to taste.
- Makes one serving.