Playing With Your Food…

The temperatures around here are starting to get a little cooler, and I was craving soup. The idea I had came from a couple of sources… one was a picture of potato soup in a catalog, the other was the success of the red sauce I made the other day.

See, the red sauce idea took perfectly good sauce in a jar (that I would have gladly just poured over my pasta and enjoyed) and transformed it into something spectacular by adding a few more ingredients.

Normally, I have a few things in my pantry for days when I’m just not feeling like cooking up a storm. Sometimes I have a box of Potato Leek soup, the soup itself, is ok… and I usually have to add a few spices to it and have an ‘it’ll do’ meal. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just it’s a little bland and I tend to like chunks in my soup… but in a pinch, I’ll eat it no problem.

But after seeing the picture in the catalog of potato soup with slices of potatoes in it, it occurred to me that I could do like I did with the red sauce and possibly make that boxed soup spectacular, without much trouble.

And so it begins…

I had some things on hand which I thought would go great with the boxed soup:

    ☀red potatoes
    ☀onion
    ☀garlic
    smoked sea salt**
    ☀better than bouillon vegetable base
    ☀sprig of fresh rosemary
    ☀thyme, dried
    ☀oregano, dried
    ☀basil, dried
    ☀bay leaves
    ☀olive oil (not pictured)
    ☀freshly ground black pepper (not pictured)

** I picked up this smoked sea salt from KAF, and thought it would go quite nicely with potatoes.

I totally didn’t measure out the spices… when I cook creatively I tend to add spices by sight and taste… so these measurements are approximate.

After scrubbing the potatoes, I put them in the microwave for a few minutes…

Funny story…

I put all 7 potatoes in the microwave and set it to cook ‘one baked potato’… but, I forgot to pierce the potatoes…

When one popped and jumped across the microwave, I considered them pre-cooked enough. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was probably about 3 minutes.

While the potatoes were in the microwave, I sauteed the onion and garlic in some olive oil and smoked sea salt.

I then took the pre-cooked potatoes and cut them into slices, which I then added to the onion/garlic mix and sauteed a bit longer, until the onion was slightly translucent. Then I added the sprig of rosemary; finely chopped, and about 1 tsp. each of thyme, basil, and oregano.

Next I added 2 cups of water and about 1 tsp. of better than bouillon vegetable base and brought it to a boil.

Meanwhile, I poured the contents of the potato soup box into the mix and then took 1 cup of water and poured it into the box. Swished it around to get all the potato soup off the sides, then poured that into the mix, as well.

I added the bay leaf and some freshly ground black pepper. Lowered the heat to a simmer and walked away for about 1/2 an hour.

When I came back, I tasted the broth and adjusted the seasonings… I decided to add more smoked salt, a bit more better than bouillon vegetable base, and more freshly ground black pepper. I checked that the potatoes were done, and when I felt that they were, I started making garlic bread.

For the garlic bread, I just cut some bakery bread into thick slices, broiled one side for about 2 minutes. Took them out, turned them over, added some soy garden and garlic powder and put them back under the broiler for 2-3 minutes longer.

And voila… soup I can write home about… this is spectacular potato soup! I will be making this one again…

The cool thing, besides making scrumptious soup, it increased the serving yield. The box itself is 4 cups of soup, then I added 3 cups of water and some veggies… this has easily doubled the yield.

I highly recommend playing with your food… it’s so easy to take a so-so product and make it spectacular with just a few extra ingredients. ๐Ÿ™‚


Oh… since it is New Years Eve…

Happy 2011! Wooooooooooooo!

Until next time…
~nic

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