(This is the column I wrote for the local paper this week. I thought I'd share it here, too.)
You know the days I’m talking about. When you sit, looking out the window and the cabin fever begins to set in. Those days are coming, and they will never fail remind you why it is called comfort food. Here is a soup that is so easy to make and serve, and that will fill chilly tummies and stick to shivering bones.
This soup can be served alone, with a spicy ground sausage added, or with grilled ham sandwiches. However you serve it, be sure that you can never make enough because in my house we scrape the bottom of the pot every time. And the children anticipate it when the weather goes frosty or windy or chilling rainy.
So, kill cabin fever and chase the chill with this:
Thick and Hearty Potato Soup:
Cut up 5-6 medium washed potatoes, leaving the skins on and chopping them coarse. Put them into a medium-sized stockpot and cut up 1 medium white onion, chopping it finer and adding it to the potatoes in the pot.
Just barely cover the potatoes and onions in the pot with filtered water, add 1 tablespoon of salt, and cover. Place the pot over high heat and bring it to boiling. Allow the potatoes and onions to boil for 10 full minutes, and then add 1 quart of whole milk. You do not have to drain the water off, but you will get a thicker soup if you do. You will have less soup if you do drain off the water.
Bring the soup to a boil again, stirring constantly to keep it from scorching. Once it has returned to a soft boil, add salt and pepper to taste, and stir it in well.
Next, add 4 tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons of flour, whisking the flour in incrementally to avoid making lumps. The more flour you whisk in, the thicker your soup will be. I like using whole wheat flour because it is better for you and it gives the soup a great look and texture.
Scoop your soup into bowls, sprinkle a little more pepper over it, and serve piping hot with buttered rolls for a delicious, filling winter’s day supper.
(If you’d like to add sausage, just brown it in a separate pan, drain it, and stir the browned meat to the soup right before serving it, or scoop it into a pile in the middle of the soup in each bowl, whichever way you prefer.)