My absolute favorite potato soup recipe!
I’m from a small town in Idaho, where 4H was a big deal. I remember pretty much all of my friends doing some sort of 4H. We didn’t live on a farm, or have any acreage at all so large animals were out, but there were still so many things to choose from.
My parents encouraged me to join 4H, so I had to decide on something to do. I chose cooking.
I remember getting together for our cooking group at the leader’s house. Her name was Norma. I can’t really remember who all was in my class, but I remember Norma.
She taught us how to cut vegetables the correct way; how to make pudding from scratch. We made a fun fruit salad. But my favorite of all the things we made was potato soup.
For many years, I have made this potato soup recipe. It has morphed from the original recipe in my 4H book, but the spirit of the soup stays the same. This potato soup is a thinner potato soup than some, and I really like that.
You can add bacon or sausage if you want to, and it will be amazing. Or you can add in a can of clams for clam chowder. But personally I just love this potato soup exactly how it is.
We made this potato soup using potatoes that the kids and I gleaned from a local farm field. If you’d like to glean potatoes, most farmers are perfectly happy to have you do so. Just check with the farmer ahead of time to make sure they are fine with it.
More than likely, they’ll let you know when they’re going to harvest, and you can go and glean right behind the combines. This is especially important, because if you go to glean a field that was harvested a week ago, the potatoes will have gotten too much sun already.
When potatoes are exposed to sunlight, the skin begins to turn green due to chlorophyll. The green skin is high in a toxin called solanine, which can actually make you sick if you were to ingest high levels of it. It also causes the potatoes to taste very bitter.
So if you’re gleaning a potato field, you’ll want to make sure to get in soon after the combines have gone through. As always, store the potatoes away from sunlight.
If by some chance the potatoes do still get some small amounts of green in the skin, make sure to peel or cut off that part of the potato.
For gleaning, you’ll want to make sure that you wear shoes you don’t mind getting dirty. If you have muck boots they work great, but if not, just make sure you wear some sturdy tennis shoes.
You’ll want some buckets to fill with the potatoes, a wide brimmed hat to keep you cool in the field, sunscreen, and lots of water to drink.
Recipe for Potato Soup:
- 3 C. Potatoes 1/2" cubes
- 1 C. Onion diced
- 3 stalks Celery sliced
- 3 Carrots sliced
- 2 C. Broth I use chicken broth
- 4 Tbsp. Butter
- 4 Tbsp. Flour
- 1 tsp. Garlic Salt
- 1/4 tsp. Pepper
- 1 12 oz. can Evaporated Milk
- 2 1/2 C. Milk
Put all chopped vegetables into a large pot. Salt them lightly. Add broth. Add enough water to just cover the veggies (you may not need any water).
Bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer. Cover pot.
While the vegetables are cooking, make a white sauce in a medium pan with a heavy bottom (to prevent scorching).
Melt butter over low heat. Add flour, salt, and pepper, and whisk. Stir mixture until it is smooth and bubbly.
Remove from heat. Whisk in evaporated milk and regular milk.
Return to heat. Stir slowly until mixture comes to a boil. Allow to boil for one minute, whisking constantly.
Check vegetables to ensure that they are fork tender (especially the potatoes). If they are, add the white sauce to the vegetables. Stir and serve.
This recipe contains: potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, and evaporated milk.