Monday, November 14, 2016

Cooking with Kids: Simple, Homemade Potato Soup

It is a new week. That's right. A brand new start. And after the pain of last week, with violence and fear felt on a national level by both sides of the election, I decided this week needed to start with something simple, easy, pure, reliable, and comforting. And that, for me, is potato soup.

Root veggies are in season right now and the chill in the air is enticing me to bundle up, snuggle in, and relax with something warm. I love the frugality of this recipe (even organic potatoes are inexpensive) and you can freeze and reheat these leftovers without losing any of the texture and tastiness.

Now don't get me wrong, I understand the appeal of opening a can and heating the contents up real quick over the stove. But this recipe, which is the Jen Version of Gimmie Some Oven's recipe, is seriously so easy that pulling out your pan very nearly gets you halfway there. And if you have the kids helping? Whew! Dinner in no time at all :)

Simple, Homemade Potato Soup

3 Tablespoons of butter
Some diced onion
1/4 cup flour
2 cups bone broth
2 cups whole milk
6-7 medium/large potatoes, mostly-peeled and kinda-diced
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 Tablespoons cream cheese
Some salt and pepper to taste

Kitchen Tools Needed
Large pot
Cuttin board
Potato peeler
Measuring cups for both dry and wet ingredients
Wooden spoon
Immersion blender or potato masher (optional)

1. Add your butter to a large pot and melt over medium-ish heat.
2. Add onion and saute for a few minutes until the onion gets all golden.
3. Sprinkle in your flour and stir until combined. Saute for another minute or so, stirring the whole time.
4. Stir in bone broth.
5. Stir in milk and diced potatoes. Adjust the heat until your mixture is at a nice steady simmer, not boil.
6. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes.
7. Once your potatoes are soft, stir in your cheddar and cream cheese. You can use an immersion blender to mix everything up and make it smooth, or a potato masher, or you can leave the potatoes chunky and stir until the cheese is melted.
8. Add salt and pepper, tasting as you go and adjusting the seasoning to your preferences.
9. Serve to smiling littles who will love it and ask for seconds :)

Some Cooking with Kids Moments...

  • Let your kids gather the ingredients and kitchen tools for you.
  • Teach your kiddos about potato peeler and knife safety and then (this is the hard part) give them a chance to use both instruments! You will be there supervising, maybe even holding their hands while they try for the first time - what better way to learn how to use a peeler. Don't forget to warn them about slippery potatoes! 
  • Explain why potatoes have eyes. 
  • Have your kids gather all the potato skins and scraps and chuck them into the compost.
  • This recipe takes you through the process of making a "roux," or a flour-and-fat mixture that thickens sauces and soups. Teach your kiddos the word and talk them through the process of making a roux - you can go as light or as heavy on the science behind it as you'd like, either way your kid's gonna learn one of the most basic and useful cooking tricks in the book!
  • Assign a timekeeper! Don't want those taters to burn! 
  • Engage your kiddos in the seasoning process. Let them taste the soup before seasoning and after seasoning. If you want to be really bold, let them decide whether the soup needs more salt or pepper. Prepping those little palates! :)
  • Clean up crew! This recipe doesn't use a ton of kitchen tools so clean up is pretty easy and quick. Let little hands scrub that pot for you! 

I am hoping you each get a chance to recuperate this week, dear readers, and turn your hearts and minds to things you can control, whether they be peaceful protests, poignant conversations with those you love, or something much more simple, like a warm bowl of soup.

What is your favorite comfort food? I'd love to hear about it in the comments down below and as always, thank you so so much for reading.

And just in case you missed the first week in our Cooking with Kids series (homemade cinnamon rolls!), you can catch up by clicking here

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