Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Potato Carrot Soup slow cooked in the crock pot

Potato Carrot Soup slow cooked in the Crock Pot

I happen to adore potato soup. I sit and dream about it, a lot.  I've even made it a couple of times.  The last time I made it was about 15 years ago.  The experience was so horrible, I've never tried it again.

When I lived in the beautiful state of South Carolina, the winters weren't very wintry.  They were more. Cold with some wind, sprinkled with cold sprinkled with a few warm days.  My opinion is this, if it's winter, then I want snow.  If it's winter, and there is never any snow, it's time to move.  I did move, but not because of the soup.
 I remembered making a batch of potato soup while I lived in Virginia. It turned out very well.  Despite not having the recipe, I decided to give it a try in SC.  I imagined coming home from work to the smell of potato soup, of having a big bowl of it while curled up in front of the TV.  Dreaming of snow.
The next morning before work, I cut up the potatoes, veggies, added seasoning and the cream.  Set the slow cooker on low, walked out excited for the evening to come.  When I came home from work, I went straight to the crock pot for a peek.  I opened the lid, and. Shut the lid. Unplugged the crock pot.  Placed it outside on the steps.  Got into the car, and went to a fast food restaurant. Crushed.
Why?  I found out later, that you don't add the cream/milk at the beginning of the cooking process or it will.......anyone.........curdle.  Yes, curdle.  As in sour milk.  Disgusting.  But wait, that's not the end of the story.
When I came home, I decided to deal with the soup later.  I was not only tired, but disappointed as well, and the soup was already bad so it wouldn't hurt it to wait.  The problem is, my room mate saw the crock pot on the steps and moved it.  Why? Anyone's guess.  Out of sight, out of mind.  Several days later I remembered the crock pot.  If you can imagine, already curdled milk, potatoes, and some SC heat..... the smell of a rotting elephant would have been a welcome breeze to the stench that "soup" put off.  Gingerly taking the pot, lest any of that horrible stuff dripped on me, I dumped it into the wood pile at the back of the property.  I hosed out the crock pot, scrubbed, hosed, scrubbed, hosed and finally brought it inside to put into the dishwasher for two or three cycles.  Just in case.  Thankfully the ordeal was over, the next day was Saturday.  I'd just enjoy the unseasonably warm winter weather.
The next morning, I got my cup of coffee, a good book, my comfy clothes, and took my seat in the rocking chair on the front porch to enjoy my day.
During this time in SC, I had adopted a pit bull, named Mumblie Peg.  He got this name because he couldn't bark and he was missing part of his back foot.  The, person, who owned him before I got him, fought him in the pits.  Despite being scarred all over, missing part of his back foot and only having the ability to "mumble" when he barked, he was one of the greatest dogs I have ever owned.  He knew exactly how to "work" his nubby foot.  He was, what I call, a watch dog.
 Imagine you were a thief who had just broken into my house:  Mumblie would watch you take everything out of the house, make no move to stop you, make no sound, appeared.  Then he would watch you melt, as he tucked that stumpy leg under him and limp toward you.  Head lowered, tail wagging, then thump down on his behind so you could feed him, pet him and so on.  As you can see from the picture, Mumblie was not hungry.
 Quite the contrary, everyone in the neighborhood knew about our watch dog, and they fed him.  Many a worker gave that dog their entire lunch, only to realize they'd been had (that's Southern for, tricked), when Mum saw me and came bounding over on all 3 legs and the stump.  He was quite the character.  This morning he came toward me, grinning, tail wagging.  As he came closer, I noticed an odor.  It grew, the closer he got.  My first thought was, he'd gotten hurt and the wound was infected.  No, that wasn't it.  No the smell was of something rotting.  Definitely something rotting, something big.  We were near the river, alligators might have killed, he wouldn't go down there.  By now, he's nearly on the porch and I was gagging because of the horrific stench this dog was putting off.  I ran inside.  I discussed this turn of events with my room mate.  We decided to look around the property to see if there was anything that would explain the smell the dog was emitting.
 Upon leaving the house, I saw Mum heading for the woods.  I followed him.  He went straight for the wood pile.  The same wood pile I had dumped the offending soup into.  I held my nose, went in for a look, and there was no sign of the soup. Anywhere.  Not a scrap, drop, drip, nothing.  Mum had eaten the soup.  Mum smelled like the soup.  My days of  making potato soup were over.  Mum's days of me petting him were over until the smell that permeated his body was gone.  Poor guy.
15 years later, I've worked up the nerve to try again.  Man am I glad!  A girl I worked with had given me her recipe for crock pot potato soup, after I relayed the story to her.  Once we stopped laughing, she wrote it down for me.  That was 12 years ago.  No one can say I'm a coward, well, a chicken, but not a coward.

Sunday I cut up the veggies, put in the seasoning, turned the crock pot on low and left it all day long.  The smell was fantastic, mouth watering, everything I hoped for.  That evening, when it was time to finish the recipe, I couldn't.  I was scared it would be bad, and all that food would be wasted.  So, I waited, on what I don't know, but I waited.  Monday came along, time to do it.  In for a penny, in for a pound.  Let's just say, it was delicious.  I put too many carrots in it, so it wasn't exactly potato soup.  What can I say, I guess potato soup is not my strong point! None-the-less, it was delicious.

Potato Carrot Soup:

2 qts water (or enough to cover veggies) use chicken stock if you like
7 large red potatoes
1 small bag pre-cut carrots
1 large red onion
4 stalks celery
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
2% milk

Cut the veggies up
Place in crock pot
cover with water, add seasoning
cook on low until the potatoes and carrots are fork tender

Pour out the water, reserve some of it

In a skillet melt butter, add flour and brown, gently over medium heat
add some of the reserved liquid until thick and bubbly
add the milk stirring constantly until you achieve a creamy consistency
remove from heat

Take a potato masher and mash the veggies in the crock pot
Add the thickened soup in with the veggies
Stir, serve immediately. Or.....

Fry up some bacon to sprinkle on top, with cheese, scallions, chives.......

Serve with crusty bread and some sweet tea.  OoooooWeeee that's some good stuff!

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