I found myself again with a group of kids, all wondering what to make for dinner on $10. Apparently my orange tomato soup was a major hit and was way better than the stuff in a can. My suggestion this time around was potato soup. A few young adults exclaimed, “Do you make anything besides soup?”
I reassured them all that I had an arsenal of recipes. I, however, prefer to eat what is in season. One youth exclaimed “What!” This allowed me to educate them why seasonal ingredients are important.
- It is cost-effective. Food is easier to grow in its proper season, making it more abundant and more affordable for consumers.
- It’s better for the environment. Seasonal vegetables don’t have to travel as far to reach their destinations.
- It’s better for your health. When produce is grown in its proper season, under the appropriate growing conditions, it exhibits all of its natural nutrients.
- It is delicious- food grown in season is significantly more delicious! The flavors are stronger and more developed (you ever taste vegetables at a farmers market?), the textures are as they were meant to be, and you end up appreciating them more.
You’ll also enjoy a greater variety of ingredients. You’ll have to expand your culinary repertoire to include whatever is abundant during the current season, and you’ll most likely be pleasantly surprised with the results. They groaned and it left me with my opening-“You can’t say you don’t like potato soup if you have never tried it.”
- 6 slices thin bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 whole medium onion, diced
- 3 whole carrots, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 6 whole small russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 8 c. chicken broth
- 3 T. all-purpose Flour
- 1 c. milk
- 1/2 t salt, more to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 1/2 t Cajun spice mix
- 1 t minced fresh parsley
- 1 c. grated cheese of your choice
Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy, stirring occasionally. Transfer the bacon to a separate plate, using a slotted spoon, reserving about 3 T. of bacon grease in the stockpot. Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic; sauté for five minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Sprinkle the flour on top of the onion and stir until combined. Sauté for an additional minute to cook the flour, stirring occasionally. Then stir in the chicken stock until combined. Stir in the milk, potatoes, and cooked bacon bits. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a simmer, but is not boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft (stirring occasionally so that the bottom does not burn). When the potatoes are soft, remove half and blend in batches in a blender/food processer until completely smooth. (***USE CAUTION WHEN BLENDING HOT SOUP ***) Pour the blended portion back into the soup pot and stir to combine. Let it heat back up, and season more to taste. Bon Appetit!
Serve in bowls garnished with parsley, grated cheese, and crisp bacon pieces.