When We Were Rich …

When we were rich there would be hot dog slices floating in the potato soup. We, kids, loved Mom’s potato soup. She served it regularly, hot and steamy, full of onions, with a thick layer of melting margarine on top. I remember when margarine became the norm in our household. It was supposedly cheaper, and better for you too! You may know we lived in many places while growing up. Some of those far flung locations seemed downright foreign. Some states had laws dictating the addition of yellow coloring to the margarine. The coloring came in little squeeze packs tucked in the box with the butter substitute. Mom would let the margarine soften some once it was home, then work the coloring into it so it looked like the real thing. Seemed like a lot of work even then; but I digress.

When Mom made potato soup it was in a three quart revere ware saucepan like the one I now have and the four of us would clean it up. Along with about a half box of saltines and tall glasses of milk. My recipe for potato soup has morphed into what I like to think is a little more sophisticated version. Although it’s a matter of taste.

Here is Moms recipe, as close as I can get anyway.

Peel and cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces enough potatoes to fill the pan 1/2 full. Cover with cold water and a lid then bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook until fork tender. Meanwhile dice a small onion. When the potatoes are done drain the water and fill the pan to within about an inch of the top with whole milk. Add the onions and one half stick of margarine (shudder). Bring to a boil and simmer a few minutes. Serve with a lot of saltines!

If we were rich that week there would be about a half package hot dogs sliced into coins floating in the soup! I would carefully cut each of mine into halves with my spoon so there would be a piece of hot dog in every spoonful of soup.

My Potato Soup recipe


Ready to eat! The three quart pan will be very full once everything is in it.

1/2 pan potatoes peeled and diced (use a 3 quart pan)
2-3 medium carrots diced small
1 small onion diced
2 stalks celery diced
4 cloves garlic minced
2-3 T. olive oil
2 vegetable bullion cubes dissolved
2 C cold water
1 &1/3 C dry powdered milk, or use 1/2 & 1/2 if you’re not counting calories
2 T flour
3 or 4 brats, cut into bite size pieces
2 T butter, optional

Cover the potatoes and carrots with cold water, cover with a lid and bring to a boil.

Saute the onions, celery and garlic in the olive oil.

Dissolve the bullion cubes in the water in a large glass jar with a tight lid. Add the powered milk and flour, shake well to blend.

When the potatoes are fork tender, mash gently but leave chunks. Add the remaining ingredients except the butter. Bring back to a simmer for a couple minutes until thickened. Just before serving add the butter cut into a few pieces to melt on the top.

Serve with a salad and a piece of your favorite bread along with fruit for dessert and you have a complete meal. Hearty and warming.

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