Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My "Pimped Out" Potato Soup - Practically Perfect in Every Way




Aren't words funny?


This last weekend, Jackie and I (and another couple) went on an outing.  Temps for November in Kansas were unusually mild, bright blue skies, just a perfect day.  We drove down to the Osceola Cheese Factory in rural Missouri.  I doubt if Vermont and Wisconsin is too concerned, but the Cheese factory makes all their own cheese, made with locally produced dairy products and offers a wide variety of classics and should be classics at a really low price.  


And they offer free samples of EVERY one of the 80 varieties of cheese they produce!


Lunch!


Colby, Swiss and Cheddar were easy choices.  But how about Hickory Smoked Green Onion Provolone, Smoked Jalape├▒o Gouda or Havarti with Horseradish and Chive???  Pass the sample toothpicks!


But once I saw and tasted "Morel Mushroom and leek Jack", I knew I had a future with this cheese.  


Really really good!


Which brings me back to funny words.  My buddy Shawn was doing the driving.  He picked us up in his shiny newly washed SUV.  I'm the kind of guy that quotes Mary Poppins and told him it looked, "practically perfect in every way".  He responded that he had just stopped to, "pimp his ride".  Seemed out of place for a middle aged white guy with grey hair and a pot belly from the suburbs of Kansas to be quoting Hip Hop (BTW, that's Shawn in the photo above flashing gang signs).


But it got me thinking when I tried to name the soup.  This is an original recipe (combination of a dozen that I read but wanted to tweak), so i get to name it... 


Is it "Pimped Out Potato Soup", or is it...


"Potato Soup - Practically Perfect in Every Way"


Read the recipe, you decide and vote...


Here's what I did...


4 TBS Butter
4 TBS Flour
1/2 Sweet Onion, small dice
6 large Russet Potatoes, peeled, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 cups Chicken Stock
2 cups Heavy Cream
2 cups Good Melting Cheese, Shredded (I used "Morel Mushroom and Leek Jack")
2 TBS "Not Your grandmother's Herbes de Provence"divided
24 stalks of Asparagus, the tips cut @3 inches, the remaining diced 1/2 inch size


And to really pimp out this soup (or to really make it Practically Perfect in Every Way), have on hand a few condiments that will make it even more... pimped out (Practically Perfect in Every Way)


Bacon, cut into squares (Bacon, Bacon, Bacon)!!!
Green Onions, sliced thin
Minced Parsley (just for color)
More Cheese, shredded (I used "Morel Mushroom and Leek Jack")


Spice Mixes I Love!OK, first, as usual, a note about my Herb mix...


"Not Your grandmother's Herbes de Provence" is my own mix of Mediterranean herbs and spices.  I make a batch every month or so, and use it in LOTS of things.


Feel free to substitute your own favorite herbs, like dill for this.  Or make your own combinations, like dill, garlic and rosemary.  But if you want to be lazy, just make a batch of this, use it often and really spice up your life.


As to the soup...

  • First, Make a Roux... Melt the butter over low-medium heat, add the flour slowly and stir CONSTANTLY.  Stir for about 10 minutes, CONSTANTLY (do not let it burn).  Suddenly, you will see the mixture begin to darken and you will smell a nutty aroma... Heaven.
  • When you smell the nutty aroma, add the onions and stir every minute for 5 minutes, until the onions become translucent
  • Move the onion roux to a large soup pot.  Add the Chicken Stock and heat to gentle boil
  • Add the potatoes and 1 TBS of the "Not Your grandmother's Herbes de Provence" Spice mix.
  • Allow to simmer for 45 minutes, then add the Cream and Cheese, return to simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
  • While that is simmering, Cook the bacon to be used as a condiment
  • Remove the bacon and discard all but 1 TBS of the bacon fat, add the asparagus and sautee for 3 minutes.
  • If the soup is not thick enough for your tastes, add a slurry of 1 tsp of cornstarch mixed with 2 tsp milk, stir everything, keeping an eye to thickness.
  • line the bottom of your soup bowl with the asparagus stalks
  • Ladle in the soup
  • decorate with the Asparagus tips and the condiments



 And finally, to really pimp out this soup (or to really make it Practically Perfect in Every Way), serve with a bit of freshly baked Pomegranate Molasses Anna Damn Her Bread!


I hunted and hunted on youTube to get the scene from Mary Poppins that shows her discribing herself as "Practically Perfect in Every Way", but couldn't.  But I did enjoy this...


Go ahead, play it...





I will confess that I did indeed look into buying a chimney sweep business at one time.  Turned out to be too messy, and I would have had to bath everyday.


But, change the wording around with "Grillers" in place of "sweeps" and the song could become a theme song.


Now, as the ladder of Cooks 'as been strung
You might think a Griller on the bottommost rung
Though I spends me time in the ashes and smoke
In this 'ole wide world there's no 'appier bloke

Chim chim-in-ey, chim chim-in-ey
Chim chim cher-ee!
A Griller's  as lucky, as lucky can be
Chim chim-in-ey, chim chim-in-ey
Chim chim cher-oo!
Good luck will rub off when I shakes 'ands with you



Or blow me a kiss and that's lucky too


Besides, I like the idea of girls blowing grillers a kiss for good luck.  Another idea that needs to sweep the nation.


So, which is it to be...


Is it "Pimped Out Potato Soup", or is it...

"Potato Soup - Practically Perfect in Every Way"

I just put in my first poll widget at the top center column.  Vote now!

...

6 comments:

  1. I like pimped out potato soup.

    I love how you said you knew you would have a future with that cheese!

    What a fun trip! I heart cheese!!!!

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  2. MMMMM Cabot cheese has samples like that, i love it there. I could graze all day, LOL Love the recipe!

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  3. It looks delicious, Dave. As to names...it's hard to choose between two such apt names. I'd pick the name from a hat. I hope all is well and that you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  4. I like Pimped Out Potato Soup - the bacon and green onions are the "Bling!" It looks delicious:)

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