Last night, I was going to make cream of potato soup for dinner, but I just couldn't face it. Cream of potato soup always looks so dreary to me. Just kind of plain white and wallpaper-pasty looking. Even when I put shredded carrot in it, it still just doesn't make me say, "Oooh, look at the yummy bowl of delicious souuuuup!!!" It makes me say, "Oh, great. I get to cook this hot mess again?"
But here's the thing: cream of potato soup is very good. And it is really, really inexpensive to make. And a meal that is hot, good and inexpensive is not really one I can just blithely turn away from just because I think it looks unappetizing.
So I decided to try something new and add carrot coins, peas and carrots along with the potatoes. I thought about calling it "Starch Soup" or "Carbohydrate Stew," but decided that "Veggie Chowder" sounded like a better sell. We all agreed that little chunks of ham would be good in this. (Honestly, it could probably use the protein, but it sure is cheap and easy made this way.)
5 cups chicken broth (either homemade, canned or in bouillon cube form)
5 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into coins
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/4 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup frozen peas
1 stick butter
8 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups milk
In a medium saucepan, heat the chicken broth to a boil, adding in the potatoes, carrots and dill weed. Reduce the heat and allow the vegetables to simmer until they can be easily pierced with a fork. Add the corn and peas and simmer for five to ten minutes.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and add the flour to make a roux; cook for two minutes while stirring constantly. Add the salt and pepper; stir to combine. Add milk slowly (by the half cup), stirring the mixture smooth over a medium heat before adding more.
When all the milk has been added to the flour/butter combination, pour the chicken stock/vegetable mixture into it. Stir carefully to combine; bring to a slight simmer if necessary.
Serve immediately. Sprinkle with some paprika and add a little parsely for a garnish, if you like doing that sort of thing. A nice green salad with some sliced, hard-cooked egg (protein) would go well with this, I'm sure, but the other night, it was just to cold to even consider eating a salad.
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