Friday, November 5, 2010

Childhood Potato Cheese Soup

So many things on this blog could be titled: “Mom’s this” and “Mom’s that.”  The truth is, for a lot of us, our first kitchen memories were of helping Mom in the kitchen.  She never really made us do anything, but she always included us in the process if we were just standing around, as teens are often very good at.  She’s always one for “meaningful conversation,” or so she called it (still does), and if she gave us something to chop, peel or stir, meaningful conversation was soon to follow.

Truth be told, for as many times Mom made Potato Cheese Soup (one of Dad’s favorites), it’s her gal-pal Laurie Cameron, nearly my second mother, who I think of when I eat Potato Cheese Soup.  She would make it for our Progressive Dinners and we would eat it out of a cup.  That was always so fun to me.  Soup in a cup!?  Kind of like ice cream in a mug (also a favorite).  SO many times would I burn my mouth because I just couldn’t wait to taste.  It smelled SO GOOD.

Bridges and Camerons, friends for 20+ years.

The Camerons were the family that we did everything with.  Her boys introduced my sister and I to weapons and  taught us how to play hot lava monster.  And they notoriously beat us in Tetherball many-a-game.  I think they were also part of the bunch that we had to “hang out with” with when had Chickenpox, because all the moms wanted to get it over with at the same time.  Brilliant but confusing as a child “but Mom, he’s got spots all over his face?”  Ok… enough memories…

Here’s our Potato Cheese Soup.  You can make it as thick as mashed potatoes or thin and dainty. 

(Makes 6-8 servings)
3 tbs olive oil
½  onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove
5 large potatoes
2 cups chicken broth (I use low sodium then add more to taste- control freak, I know)
1/2 cup cream
1 ½ cups grated cheese- I used half Tillamook Cheddar and half of Trader Joes’ Aged Cheddar = flavor city!
1 tsp parsley
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
salt & pepper

Sweat the onions and garlic for 8 min with salt and olive oil.

Add peeled potatoes (note: getting a good peeler is SO worth it, same goes with can-opener and paring knife amongst other things).  

Pour in chicken stock.  Bring to boil, let simmer covered for 40 min.
Then mash potatoes and add all remaining ingredients.  Add cheese in just before serving, that Trader's Aged was so great.  So much flavor!

To adjust consistency add more broth or cream after the mashing.

Freezes well and is so good with garlic toast and a windy evening.

My bonus Chardonnay notes.  Notice, there is no butter in the soup.  But potatoes beg for butter.  So if you are the “buttery oaky Chard” kind of person (as opposed to the stainless steel, crisp, fruity Chard kind of person) this Chardonnay is for you.  It’s the best cheap Chardonnay I’ve tried.  Do note the 2008 vintage… the 2009 is in stock, but if you dig hard enough you might find a dusty 08 behind the pack at the grocery store.  The 09 is on par, but the 08 is an eagle for it’s value and finish.


  1. ah such memories...almost sounds like we tortured you kids with the chicken pox exposure! You'll be telling your kids...that was BEFORE the chicken pox vaccine!!

  2. I think I am going to have to make this tomorrow night, perhaps with your delicious garlic bread as well! I'll harness my inner Noelle tomorrow :)