For my birthday a couple of years ago, Da Kid took me out to eat at a place he and Herself said they really liked.
I'd never eaten there before. To be truthful, I'd never even heard of the place. Then again I'm not into Yuppie Cuisine. It's way too expensive for what you get and dang it, when you look at an item on a menu I think you should be able to tell what heck it is.
"Hello! Our special today is Chicken Whoopsa-Doopsie."
The chicken part I get, but then you always have to ask what's Whoopsa-Doopsie? Then the server looks at like you're really dumb because, you know like, everybody in the whole entire world knows what it is, except you.
Not my kind of place.
The one thing Da Kid and Herself kept talking about — not that they could afford to eat there on a regular basis — was the places's potato cheese soup. So naturally when Da Kid took me there, I ordered it.
It was good. Not great but good. Except the amount I got might have filled a coffee mug half way . . . and it cost $5.
"That's nuts," I thought.
And it is.
A few weeks later I opened the refrigerator and once again it was filled with leftovers. A little of this and that but two items in particular caught my attention: leftover ham and leftover bacon.
I made a mad dash to the grocery store for one item.
(As I was leaving, Hubby came in and saw the empty soup pot waiting on the stove for my return and asked, "What are we having?" I replied with the answer he fears most: "I'm not sure.")
It's now been dubbed . . .
(1) Pot, 2-gallon size.
Water (Like I know how much? You can always add more while you're working, so start with much less than you think you might need.)
While the water's heating to a boil, add in this order:
(5) large all-purpose white potatoes (with skins), chunk cut
(6) Strips of crisp bacon, crumbled
(6) oz. of smoked ham, diced. (If you don't have leftover ham, a package of the already cooked-and-diced ham from your grocery store works just fine.)
(1) medium onion, diced.
(1) rib of celery, sliced.
(1) carrot, sliced.
(1) cup diced bell pepper.
Salt and pepper to taste.
With me so far? Good! But this is where the recipe gets really complicated:
Once the potatoes have begun to dissolve (The Leftover Queen is sure there's a fancy cooking term for this but does not know what it is nor does she care.) and the soup has started to thicken, everything else should have had enough time to cook. Turn the heat down to a very low simmer and stir in:
(1) jar of Ragu Double Cheese® sauce.
This is why I, your beloved Queen of Leftovers, cautioned against putting too much water in the pot to start. Add water, not much, to what's left stuck in the jar, shake, and dump the contents in the soup. Repeat as needed.
If the soup is still too thick, add water. Too thin, stir in a handful of instant mashed potato flakes.
And instead of adding the crumbled bacon to the soup itself, if you want to be fancy do like the Yuppie Place: before serving top the soup with it.
Leftovers, if any, freeze well.
(Yes, I know Summer's just started. Normal people don't fix soup when it's hot outside but I never claimed to be normal. Besides, I wanted some.)
Labels: What's cooking?