We eat a lot of soup around here, and no complaints :)
I've found that especially after a long work week, though I love special dishes for certain dinners, there's nothing quite as satisfying...and simple...as soup and some great snuggling with my hubby. It's a great slow AND fast food, and can be tweaked to what's on hand in the kitchen fairly easily. Couch time on the fly equals a date, to us, so I made us some comfort food and we caught a bit of Good Neighbors and Foyle's War (thank you, inter-library DVD loans). Soup's one of our favorite easy eats...this one featured the potato, and was easy.
I don't have a regular blender or food processor, but do have an immersion blender (those stick blenders you can make smoothies with right in the container). If someone has none of those, a handheld potato masher would do the trick pretty well, too, but the potatoes would have to be peeled ones only or you'll have big pieces of skin in there.
This is just a basic potato soup, very unscientific as to proportions of this and that. I like the combination of flavors rich with basil. Ingredients can be adjusted to include ones that are on hand, and bits of this and that. Here's what went into mine this weekend...
Rich Basil Potato Soup (ha, it's just potato soup with basil and some spices)
Several white or yellow potatoes (6-10) depending on size and preference, scrubbed and cubed (mine are unpeeled)
Several carrots, chopped
Several celery ribs and tops, chopped
One red sweet pepper, chopped
Large can chicken stock
Dried or fresh basil, lots
Pepper and Salt
Dash of oregano
Few dashes hot sauce
Several dabs of real butter
Cook all ingredients together, covered, in heavy soup pot, except spices and milk and butter, till all veggies are tender. Add a little water if there's not enough liquid just to cover. Stir to make sure nothing sticks.
When all is cooked tender, put stick blender down in pot and blend ingredients till desired consistency...I like it almost, but not all liquified. Turn down heat to low setting, and stir in butter and enough milk to thin soup to consistency you desire (I'm generous with the milk).
Add spices, adjusting to your own taste. I prefer a lot of garlic and basil and enough cayenne to warm the tastebuds. Heat a while longer, stirring frequently, then serve. This does even better after cooled and refrigerated overnight to allow flavors to mingle.
I like to serve this in bowls very hot with some shredded cheese added to each bowl just when serving, or with hot cheese toast.
This is a keeper now...we liked this well enough to have it added to the Tried 'n True category, mmm :)
For further experimentation, I'm thinking of making this with the same ingredients next time, omitting the basil and oregano, and adding chopped spinach and parmesan.
Update: Did the spinach number with the next batch, and froze some...we'll see how well it stands up to freezing. It was good but not as good as plain potato-cheese soup or the basil version above.
Good ol' potatoes...the poor man's riches! :)