Saturday, September 29, 2012

Flavorful and Fantastic, Loaded Potato Soup!

This recipe is a great way to stock pile on vitamins and minerals, while enjoying a rich and hearty fall favorite, Potato Soup.  This is loaded with delicious and nutritious garden veggies like carrots, celery, onion, garlic, mushrooms and zucchini, that are sauteed then pureed to form the creaminess of the soup itself.  These veggies really pack in essential building blocks for cells and body function, discreetly nestled among the tender chunks of potato. The implement of these veggies provide soluble fiber to help keep you full and  satisfied longer, and eliminate some of the starch and carbs, by using less potato.
 A recipe like this one is fabulous during cold and flu season to help supply the body with the fuel it needs to stave off  illness particularly during temperature transitions.  This is especially handy for picky eaters both young and old, and provide a substantial amount of your daily vegetable requirements in just one bowl.  The potatoes are diced in several sizes to provide body and texture to the chunky yet creamy dish as a whole, thus using less milk and butter.   A small piece of country ham provides an almost smoky and rich undertone.  Vegetarians and Less Meat fans, feel free to leave this out for a wholesome and delicious dish.  A hint of pumpkin pie spice warms and really rounds out the overall cozying effect created by this easy to make, easy on the waistline, and sure to please recipe. Plus, the spices that comprise pumpkin pie spice are rich in antioxidants! Serve with grilled cheese, crackers or whole grain breads for a well balanced and amazing cup or bowl of love and tenderness.
Recipe:
1 3 oz. slice of bone-in country ham, chopped w/bone reserved
1 c. EACH carrot, celery, onion, mushrooms,small dice
2 c. zucchini, chopped or shredded, no seeds
2 bay leaves, dried
7 c. Russet potatoes, small, medium and large dice
4 c. water
1 soft chicken and tomato bouillon cube
1 1/2 c. 1% milk
4 tbsp. butter
large pinch pumpkin pie spice
olive oil for drizzling
SPST (Salt and Pepper to Suit your Taste)

In a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium high heat, drizzle with olive oil.   Brown and render ham, about 4 minutes.  Add veggies bay leaves then cook until softened, about 7 minutes.  Remove veggies from pot and set aside to cool slightly before pureeing w/one cup water and bouillon cube.
Meanwhile, add potatoes to pot and stir to coat.  Add 3 remaining cups water and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to a simmer and add veggie puree.  Simmer until largest potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.  Stir in milk and butter.  Simmer additional 5 minutes until heated through again. Stir in spices. SPST.  Serve drizzled with olive oil if desired.   Makes a lot!!
Recipe may easily be halved or frozen in airtight containers for up to 3 months.

Happy Birthday to my big brother and buddy Ken!  We love you and wish you decades more, XOXO

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Smokinhotchef
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