After all of the rich food and extra cooking around during the holidays, I like to start off the year with super simple, but warm and hearty meals--and for me, that spells S-O-U-P! Last week I made Taco Soup; today I made another of my favorite quick and easy soup recipes, Easy Cheesy Potato Soup. I first posted this back in August, but I know most of ya'll are not as soup-crazy as I am to eat it even during the warm months, so I thought I'd share it again.
Originally posted August 20, 2010:
I love soup, any kind, any time, any where. When I'm in a restaurant, I always get the soup instead of salad--and I know which places have good soup. One of my favorites, always, is potato soup of any kind--creamy potato, cheesy potato, baked potato--doesn't matter, as long as it's potato.
But although I often order it out, it's not something I make at home. Until now. My mother cut this recipe out of the newspaper and gave it to me months ago, but I just got around to trying it out this week. Believe it nor not, it's made from frozen (uncooked) hash browns! It's quick and easy, which are my middle names in the kitchen; tastes delicious, and it has no exotic ingredients that can't be found in even a small town grocery store--something that's especially important to me since I moved home to small-town rural Louisiana.
- medium onion, diced
- 4 T butter
- 5 cups of water
- 4-5 bouillon cubes
- 1 28-oz package of frozen hash browns (the uncooked kind)
- 1 pound Velveeta
- milk (if needed--I didn't need any)
Melt the butter in the pan, then add onion and cook until translucent and tender. You know me, I used dried onion flakes, but I did use the butter, it does add an element of flavor to the overall dish. So I melted the butter, then threw in 2 or 3 tablespoons of dried onion. Add the water and bouillon cubes--I used chicken stock powder, but you could use vegetable stock just as well. Add the hash browns--I added them frozen straight from the bag--and bring the whole mixture to a boil. Cover and turn down to simmer, stirring occasionally.
Since bouillon and cheese can be salty, the only additional seasoning I added was some cracked black pepper. Once the cheese is added, you can add milk if needed--I didn't. I did let mine continue to simmer for about 10 minutes more, because we weren't quite ready to eat yet. Just be sure the burner is turned down very low so it won't scorch after the cheese is added. It does thicken a bit upon standing, you might need a little milk to thin it later or to reheat.
I tasted it before I added the cheese, it was pretty good even then, although a little thin. If I wanted cream of potato soup with no cheese, I'd use less broth or stock, and add some milk or even half-and-half right at the end.
For baked potato soup, add some crumbled back and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped chives. I had none of the above on hand, so I didn't, but I think it would be a tasty addition!
Until next time, good cooking, and good eating!