Monday, November 15, 2010

Baked Potato Soup and Cheese Toast

Baked potato soup with cheese toast
We recently restarted the wood heating stove for the winter season.  I love having it fired up  - it's a great secondary cooking source.  I place scrubbed baking potatoes in a dutch oven and let them get nice and baked, while I take care of other things during the day.

Dutch oven on top of a wood heat stove
For this soup, I baked 3 russet potatoes for a few hours.  The heating wood stove is not very reliable as to time.  The heat goes up and down as it burns through wood.  You can't be in a hurry!

When the potatoes are nearly done, start the soup and bread.  On our wood stove, the potato baking takes 2-3 hours.  Check back every 30-60 minutes and turn potoates over.

For the soup....
Make a roux from 5 tablespoons of butter and equal amount of flour.  Cook and stir until the raw flour taste is gone.  Add 2 cups of milk and stir until thick and creamy.  Add a bit more milk, stock, or water to keep at a desired consistency.  Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste.

Chop potatoes into nice sized cubes.  I like my potatoes with the skin on.  I'm still trying to use up old ham so I added a cup or so of minced ham. Add to soup base along with a shake of onion and garlic powder.

For color and a bit of flavor, I added some straggling parsley from a pot that we keep in the sun room.  Cheese makes any meal better, so say my kids.

For the toast....
Slice bread, as many slices as needed and lay out on a sheet.  In a smallish bowl, add a bit of shredded mozzarella cheese, a few tablespoons of mayo, and if available, minced pepperoni and a shake of Italian seasoning and pepper.

Stir cheese mixture and spread on bread.

When soup is ready to serve, heat broiler and toast bread with spread until browning and bubbly.

This was a perfect soup for a cold, blustery Sunday dinner.


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