I know that we’re quickly moving out of what most people would consider “soup weather,” but I tend to like it no matter what time of year it is.
I especially like to have containers full of it in my deep freeze at all times for evenings when Joey and I are far too busy (or tired) to make a home-cooked meal.
Recently, Joey was at an event where both baked and mashed potatoes were served. At the end of the evening, someone bagged up both and asked if anyone wanted the leftovers or they were going in the trash.
Joey snapped them up, figuring we could do something with it at home.
We brainstormed together and came up with what ended up being a delicious soup. We were pretty proud of ourselves, and I couldn’t help but think we weren’t the only ones who sometimes come across lots of leftover potatoes after a get-together, so I thought I’d share it with you. It also wouldn’t be hard to get a big bag of taters and just do this on its own.
I don’t have a source for this week’s recipe, since it came from Joey and I experimenting in our own kitchen, but I will say that you may need to adjust the amounts based on how many potatoes you have or how thick you like your soup. It’s a very flexible recipe, so I’d recommend adding liquid a little at a time until you get it to the right consistency.
We had so many potatoes that I doubled this and made two big pots full.
* * *
Sausage Potato Soup
1 pound sage sausage
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
4 to 6 tablespoons flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
About six medium-sized baked potatoes
About one pound mashed potatoes
1/4 teaspoon fennel
garlic salt and pepper to taste
1-1/2 to 2 cups milk (I used skim)
4 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
4 ounces pepper jack, shredded
In a large Dutch oven, combine the sausage and onion, breaking apart and browning the sausage until it’s cooked through and the onions are soft.
Once the sausage is done cooking, stir in the minced garlic and cook for two to three minutes or until it browns slightly and starts to smell nice.
Start sprinkling in the flour, mixing it into the sausage to that it soaks up any grease. Keep adding it, a little at a time, until the grease is completely incorporated into the flour. Let it cook, continuing to stir, for about two minutes to cook the flour taste out.
Stir in the chicken broth and let that cook for a couple minutes as well.
Cut the baked potatoes into bite-sized pieces (we included the skin in ours) and add them to the pot along with the mashed potatoes (Both can be cold at this point. No need to heat them up beforehand.). Also toss in the fennel, garlic salt and pepper.
Stir the mixture well. Start by mixing in about one cup of milk and let the soup cook, stirring regularly so it doesn’t scorch on the bottom, for five to 10 minutes or until it begins to thicken. If it’s too thick, add more milk until you reach your desired consistency.
Once the soup is heated all the way through (probably another 10 minutes or so), dump in the sharp cheddar and pepper jack cheeses and stir until it’s melted.
Serve hot with a bit more cheese on top if desired.
* * *
We were head over heels in love with this recipe. It definitely fills you up quickly and has tons of great flavor.
It was also pretty satisfying to not see so much food tossed in the trash and instead be transformed into a wonderful meal (actually, several meals).
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Americans toss about 30 to 40 percent of our food supply every year, which is a staggering amount. If we can come up with more ways to keep good food out of the garbage and back in our fridges, we could begin to solve a lot of issues in this country.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt when there’s sausage and garlic involved, too.
Lindsey Young is managing editor of The Clarion, the Kansas Publishing Ventures newspaper in Andale. She can be reached at email@example.com.