Sunday, October 4, 2009

Momma's Soup

One of the things I cooked for Luke when he was down with the Wisdom Teeth Blues was this:

Momma's soup

potatoes (about one per person or a little less)
corn (fresh, canned, frozen, creamed - it doesn't matter)
leftover vegetables - cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, peas, mashed potatoes, whatever
broth of some sort - canned chicken or beef, the juice off of roasts that you've kept frozen for soup-making, or bouillon. The more broth you have, the more flavorful the soup will be.
diced ham
celery, cut up
onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste

In your soup pot, put on about 1 or 2 cups of water to boil. Peel and dice a couple of potatoes (one per person is a good guess) Then cut up whatever vegetables you have in your refrigerator. The ones I like in this are broccoli and cauliflower and corn (and leftover mashed potatoes make a great thickener.) Carrots and peas would be good too. Cut all up and add to the boiling water with the diced potatoes. These need to cook until no longer crunchy as this is the only boiling they will get because you can't boil it after adding the milk and/or cream corn or it will separate.

While saucepan is simmering, heat some oil in a skillet and fry the celery and onions until they are soft (this isn't strictly necessary as they could go straight into the boiling water to soften but frying them adds more flavor). When they are soft and beginning to brown, add them to the simmering saucepan. In same skillet, fry the ham until most of the water cooks off of it. (Or not, if you don't want to.)

Put the ham in with all of the vegetables, add whatever broth you have to cover all the vegetables, and cook for a few minutes until you are sure everything is tender (but not mushy; keep sampling). Then add milk and a can of cream corn (if you want) and cook just until hot but don't let it boil once you have added the milk and corn (or it will separate into two layers - one of which will be watery and unappetizing). If the soup seems too thin, mash some of the vegetables (or puree them in blender) to thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste.

You and a couple of grateful roommates can graze off of this for several days.

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