Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Well Fed Buff: Taters, Precious!



In recognition of my impending 160th recipe, here's a little extra something to get you through the cold weather.

Grimmtooth's Tater and Mushroom Soup

You will need:
  • Bacon! 4-5 slices, thick cut (more slices if it's thin), diced up.
  • Mushrooms, fresh, sliced or diced, 16 oz. Two of the 8-oz flats at Publix is perfect.
  • Taters, precious! 4-5 good sized ones, diced. I also like mixing Russets with some less starchy varieties, such as Yukon Gold or Red taters. I peel the Russets, but the thin-skinned ones I leave the skin on.
  • Onion, sweet preferred, medium, diced
  • Milk – around 1-2 cups, depending on how much or little you fear milk fat.
    • (Alternative: a pint of heavy cream, and the rest of the volume taken up with chicken broth - low sodium preferred.)
  • Water
  • Flour, salt, pepper
  • Dutch oven, or other heavy pot
  1. In the pot, fry up the bacon until it is crispy and has rendered up most of its grease.
  2. Reduce heat to medium if not already there.
  3. Add the onions and stir about a bit until they are soft (we are sweating them, not sautéing, so you don't need to carmelize).
  4. Add the mushrooms on top, stir, and let it cook until the mushrooms give up a good bit of liquid.
  5. Add the milk, then the taters.
  6. Add water to around 1/2 inch above the tops of the taters.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Cover and allow to come to a boil.
  9. Uncover and adjust heat so that it simmers.
  10. Simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally. If the liquid level gets too low, add just enough water to re-cover (stirring when you do)
  11. Ten minutes before you're done, add flour to thicken the soup; adjust to your preferences. I recommend pre-mixing the flour with water using a whisk.
    1. (Note: if you use cream and chicken broth, it may not need thickening.)
Serves a lot.
This recipe is based on the tater soup recipe handed down to me by Mama Grimmtooth, and a mushroom soup recipe found here (you may recognize the blogger). I took the mushroom-bacon dynamic of the latter and married it to the chowdery goodness of Mama G's recipe.
Variations:
  • Corn! For a long time, that's what I would normally use instead of the mushrooms.
  • For vegetarians, eliminate the bacon and use butter to sauté.
  • For vegans, use olive oil for the sauté.
  • One clove of garlic gives an extra tang. Pickled garlic won't make it into the pot, though.
  • Lots of people like diced up celery along with the onion as an aromatic. I'm not big on it, but that's me.