Sunday, February 7, 2010

Meal From Scratch Part 1

As you might have noticed we are huge fans of homemade soup in this house.  And so I thought I would walk you through the chicken and potato soup that we often do, as well as a dessert.  My first piece of advice for cooking is this:  start with a clean kitchen.  
I know it sounds crazy, and you are thinking one of two things.  Either "Duh, my kitchen is always clean" or "Really?  If we're just going to mess it up more?"  If you are the first type, shush, quit bragging!  As one who is not naturally along the lines of the first, and tends to go with the second, I assure you that this does indeed help.  I tend to get a little snarky when I have to look around for something clean while I'm cooking.  So make sure your kitchen is clean (or at least an ample workspace) and that every bowl/utensil/apron you are going to need is clean.  (and yes, you should wear an apron....aren't we aiming for Julia Child?  No?  Too bad....aim higher!  And for my male readers, that means you too!)
Get out all the ingredients for soup.  Rather than continually having to go back to the refrigerator, save yourself some time and get it all out.  If you have a tiny kitchen, prep ahead and then just get bowls of chopped veggies out.  Keep This Simple.  I usually do not measure any of this, but to be kind, I attempted.  What you see in the first picture of it all laid out ended up not being correct once I got going, so I wrote it all down for you.
Now, chop those veggies!  Don't ask me how, because that's a personal preference (and really doesn't matter unless you have small children you are afraid will choke).  I chop them chunkier because we've found we like that best, but I have chopped them all perfectly even and petite before and that works too.  Start with your carrots, celery and onion and put them in the pot.  Add the chicken broth/stock and put on the stove.  I put it on high and let it come to a boil.  Add the salt, pepper, and celery salt to taste ( I add lots of all of it!) and add the mushed up roasted garlic.  If you don't want to use the whole head, don't, reserve some to smear on bread later.  That's perfectly fine if you are not a "garlic person." I also threw in 2 bay leaves because I have so many of them currently.  It worked wonderfully, and if you have them on hand, I recommend it, if not, forget it. I also added some lettuce that needed to be used up (something that is good to do when you have produce you don't want to waste is make soup, most things can go in and blend beautifully).  
If you chopped them all nice and petite, then add the potatoes at this time.  If you made them chunkier, throw them in once the water has been boiling for a little bit and the carrots are starting (just starting) to get tender.  They take longer than potatoes to soften, and if you don't wait you will either have crunchy carrots or mushy potatoes, neither good in a soup.  Once you've added the potatoes, add the chicken to heat it up.  I ended up adding a cup of water as well, not from lack of liquids (it will look like it's not enough, but the veggies will contribute to the liquid levels) but because I wanted a lighter base and my chicken had had some gelatin that thickened it. 
And you're done!  It really is that simple, and it will cook in about 30 minutes.  Oh, and it tastes even better the second day so make plenty!
Chicken Potato Soup
  • 2 cups packed roasted chicken (I use the leftovers from a roast chicken, you could use boiled, grilled, baked, etc)
  • 4 1/2 cups brother/stock (mine is homemade and if you want a post on that, let me know!)
  • 3 Red Potatoes
  • 5 Carrots
  • 4 Celery Stalks
  • 1 Head Elephant Garlic
  • 1 Yellow Onion (or whatever color you have on hand)
  • Salt, Pepper, and Celery Salt to taste
Follow above directions and enjoy!  You can also add mushrooms (we usually add portobello usually, but they were out at the store).  Spinach is also good in it. Now it's after midnight, so I am headed to bed.  Tomorrow morning I will post part 2 which is my out of this world Tarte Tatin (I've finally perfected it!). 


  1. Beautifully done! Love this post on homemaking meal so close to my heart. Looking forward for the next post on Tarte Tatin tomorrow!!!

  2. Yummm!!!! We've just about finished off the potato soup I made, so I may be needing to make another batch of soup and this looks really tasty and easy! Good job Kalee!!! =)

  3. I really enjoyed this post - and the soup looks delicious! It's alittle warm here to even think about soup at the moment, but I'll definately bookmark this for winter!