- ~4 potatoes
- any other veggies you have on hand (broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, zucchini, green beans, corn…)
- 2–3 Tbs. butter
- 4–5 Tbs. whole wheat flour (gluten-free version below)**
- 2 c. whole milk (why full fat dairy?)
- 2 c. chicken stock (or additional milk if you want meatless)
- salt, pepper, herbs to taste (see below for ideas)
- Wash and cut potatoes (with or without skins – for taste’s sake, peel them, for health’s sake, leave the peels on), a few carrots, some broccoli, and other veggies. Boil the potatoes in salted water about 15 minutes or until soft.
- I used to put the veggies right in the water too and use the veggie water to thin the cream sauce (to add nutrients, I had heard!), but now I understand that it’s not recommended to reuse cooking water if (1) you don’t use organic produce and (2) you’re using broccoli, kale, spinach, or cauliflower (and a few other lesser known cruciferous veggies). The chemicals from non-organically grown produce reside in the cooking water, and the oxalic acid and/or goitrogens (see this post for explanation) from the cruciferous veggies also sit in the water.
- My solution to get all the vegetables cooked and do it nutritiously — and without adding extra dishes — is to get the potatoes going.
- Then rest my steamer basket on top, either using its own tripod like above, or just sitting on the potatoes if there are too many.
- And yes, this is a great opportunity to use some broccoli stems.
- Meanwhile, as soon as you get your veggies on the stove, start your roux/bechamel. (It always takes longer than I think it will.) For potato soup, I usually use 2-3 Tbs butter, 3-5 Tbs flour (extra thick) and 2 cups milk. Once it is pleasantly thick, pour in a few cups of chicken broth for added nutritional benefits.
- **Gluten-free version: Use 2-4 Tbs. arrowroot starch, and instead of adding it to the fat, whisk it in with one cup of the cold milk. Put the other 3 cups of liquid into the pan, bring to a low boil, and stir in the starch/milk mixture, whisking constantly until bubbly again. I always think it is not going to thicken up, and I usually add more starch mixed with water or milk, then get my soup too thick. Be patient; arrowroot does thicken better than flour, so you use less.
- When the vegetables are all soft, add them to the creamy base using a slotted spoon. Just discard the cooking water.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste (1 tsp. or less salt and ¼-1/2 tsp. pepper is safe). Other herbs like thyme, marjoram, basil and taragon are good to add flavor, too. Lately I’ve used about a tsp of marjoram and taragon, in case you’re not adventurous in the kitchen with trying your own measurements.
You can fry up some bacon and onions and use a little bacon fat for the roux, then add bacon to the soup and sprinkle with cheese for “loaded baked potato” soup.
My dad calls it “garden soup” with potatoes, green beans, carrots and corn in August.
Add a cup or two of shredded cheese, frozen corn and some ham and you have a cheesy ham chowder to die for.