It is fall in Southern California. Finally.
Every fall, when the air picks up the decided chill that signals our meagre change of seasons, my thoughts turn to the comfort of a bowl of hot soup.
For me, few soups rival the sheer delight of potato soup. Maybe it is because of my Irish background. I’ve never met a potato I didn’t like. Where other people eat chocolate to deal with stress, I’ve been known to whip up a very large bowl of mashed potatoes to drown my sorrows. Often.
Don’t even get me started about colcannon on an anxious day.
And, Kerrygold Irish butter… Stop!
I was/am a McGee after all.
My mother made a wonderful potato soup and I have happy childhood memories of dipping into a bowl of hot potato soup on a cold day after school. Unfortunately, I don’t have her recipe.
On a particularly melancholy day last year, I found myself reminiscing about my mother’s potato soup and went online in search of a recipe to buoy my spirits. I found this excellent recipe on the Whole Foods site: Cheddar, Corn and Potato Chowder.
Mine is an adaptation of their recipe.
Recipe: Cheddar, Corn and Potato Chowder
5 T. butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 C. vegetable broth
2 3/4 C. diced Yukon Gold potatoes
2 C. frozen yellow corn kernels
2/3 C. milk
1 1/2 C. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper or paprika (garnish)
Melt butter in a large soup pot and saute onion until it is soft (about 5 minutes). Mix flour into butter and onion mixture. Add vegetable broth and boil. Whisk broth mixture constantly until it is smooth. Reduce heat and add diced potatoes. Simmer for 20 minutes until potatoes are tender. Using a potato masher, slightly mash potatoes in broth. Add corn and milk. Cook for an additional five minutes and then remove soup from heat. Stir in shredded cheddar and stir until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper. Add chopped parsley and shredded carrot. Return to heat and continue cooking at medium heat for a few minutes until the carrot is cooked. Serve, garnished with cayenne or paprika and a sprig of parsley.
Cook’s Note: In reheating this soup, do not allow it to boil. I used Cabot Extra Sharp White Cheddar (available at Costco) in this soup with excellent results.