Soup, Salad, and Nothing Really Spiritual

Potato soup
Potato Broccoli Soup served with homemade rolls


Update 2014: I have since discovered that using baked potatoes gives this soup a thicker texture, reduces actual cooking time, and is just easier because cooked potatoes are easier to peel and cube. So next time you make baked potatoes, cook an extra five pounds and save them for this soup. Instructions for both versions are included.

It happened in August of last year. I fixated on potato broccoli soup.

I made some. Then I made it again. And again. Apparently my goal was to make it as hearty fattening as possible. But oh, it’s tasty. To alleviate some of the guilt about the fat content, serve the soup with a huge, dark green salad and a hunk of whole grain bread. It might help.

I will post a few pictures of the cooking process just for the sheer beauty of the subject.

Please note that nearly every amount listed should have “ish” attached, as I am never quite sure how much of anything I add. Of course, this glorious concoction is so very adjustable to taste and dietary needs that you can fudge on just about any of the ingredients. (Except I wouldn’t recommend using less water than it takes to cover the potatoes.) Below the recipe, I give some ideas to make the soup bless your heart and your cardiologist.

Potato Broccoli Soup
Yield: A lot
Not a low fat recipe.

5 lbs potatoes, peeled and cubed (or 5 lbs baked potatoes)
1 head fresh broccoli, chopped
6 slices meaty bacon, chopped*
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 stick butter
2 – 3 cups half and half or whipping cream
1 T Better Than Bouillion chicken bouillion paste (optional)
1 – 2 cups shredded cheddar or cojack cheese or combination
Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste

*I only buy bacon that is very meaty, then I trim any excess fat off with my kitchen shears.

If using raw potatoes, in large stew pot, put potatoes in just enough water to cover. Bring to gentle boil and cook, covered, on low heat until almost done, about 30 minutes. Add chopped broccoli to pot and cook, covered, until broccoli is soft, about 10 minutes.

If using baked potatoes, bring a quart or so of water to boil, and add chopped broccoli. Boil until the broccoli is soft. Meanwhile, peel and cube cooled baked potatoes, then add them to the broccoli. Add additional water to cover. Continue as directed.

broccoli and potatoes png






You can cook the broccoli as little or as long as you want. I just like it soft for soup.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in skillet on medium heat until almost done, then add onion and cook together until onion is lightly caramelized. Add butter to skillet and stir together, cooking for a bit after butter melts; remove from heat.

bacon pic png

I’m not sure it’s actually legal to place butter and bacon in the same pan. (Please ignore the “patina” of my skillet. My mother hasn’t scrubbed my pans with SOS pads lately. And I realize that since I told you to ignore the patina, your eyes jumped directly to the black stuff and you’re thinking, wow, her mother really needs to clean that.) Can you tell this is my favorite skillet for sautéing?

When potatoes and broccoli are tender, add bacon mixture to pot, along with bouillion paste, half and half, salt, and pepper. Add as much liquid (water or half and half) as you like to achieve desired consistency. When heated, stir in cheese and serve. If your family hasn’t already dived in, sprinkle some shredded cheese and chopped fresh parsley on top of each serving then photograph one and post it on your Facebook to make all your friends invite themselves over for dinner.

Note: If you use the chicken paste, you won’t need as much salt.

Here are my ideas for ruining making the soup more heart healthy:

  • Use skim or 1% milk instead of half and half (–teardrop–)
  • Use half a stick of butter instead of the whole blessed stick (–sniff sniff–)
  • Drain the bacon and onion on paper towels before adding butter
  • Let Paula Deen keep the butter producers in business all by herself and omit the butter completely (–sadness–)
  • Don’t use bacon at all (–sobbing–)
  • Omit all ingredients except broccoli (But then you’ll have to change the name of the recipe to, well, Broccoli.)

I am sorry this is not a spiritually related post, but maybe it is still inspiring on some basic level. If nothing else, perhaps you’ll be inspired to engage in a brisk workout.


Janice Powell 2013


One thought on “Soup, Salad, and Nothing Really Spiritual

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