Crock Pot Beer and Potato Soup

It’s getting cold out there, which means it’s time for crock pots and thick soups and scarves. We had a whole bunch of potatoes that badly needed using up, so I went and hunted up several recipes for beer and potato soup.

Ingredients:

  • a can of beer (whatever: nice beer is nice, but I used Miller Lite that has been in our fridge since we moved in)
  • a cube of bouillon or a can/box of broth
  • some onion
  • pepper
  • garlic

    IMG_1202

    The cheese isn’t really optional: it’s amazing.

  • Worcestershire sauce
  • a fuckton of potatoes
  • milk
  • optional: like a pound of shredded cheddar
  • optional: croutons

Put as much onion and garlic and pepper as you like in the bottom of your crockpot. I used like two spoonfuls of minced garlic and a spoonful of onion. Add your cube of bouillon and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, then your whole can or bottle of beer.

Now it is time to wash your potatoes and start cubing them. How many potatoes? As many as you have, or until you’re about half an inch from the top of the crock pot. Just keep going. It’ll take a while – just think of the payoff, though, in that you will end up with tons and tons of soup.

When your crock pot won’t hold any more potatoes, add water (or broth) until they’re just covered. Now stick your crock pot on low for between six hours and eternity. This is potato soup: it does not give a damn how long you cook it.

Just before you plan to eat it, you can mash the potatoes with a fork for a dense chowder type thing. Add a dollop of milk and your pound or so of shredded cheddar and stir until the cheddar is melted. You can go for just milk if you have something against cheese or no time, but why? Why would you do that when you can have tons of cheese. Serve with croutons on top.

Serves approximately half an army, or you for most of the winter if you have containers and room in your freezer.

Chicken Noodle Soup

I got sick a week or two ago – some stomach thing that meant I took my first-ever trip to Urgent Care and left me feeling like I’d been hit by a truck for a couple days before disappearing without a trace. After the first couple days, I eventually felt well enough to contemplate sick-person food. Canned chicken noodle soup mostly tastes like salt to me, and gives me headaches if it’s not the low-sodium stuff, but luckily making it from scratch only takes like 20 minutes, and you can take breaks.Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

  • couple chicken thighs
  • some kind of grease (butter, olive oil, vegetable oil, whatever)
  • handful of noodles
  • bouillon cube or low-sodium broth of some kind
  • seasoning
  • frozen veg if you’re feeling particularly ambitious and coordinated

Get out a non-stick pot and cut your chicken into it with kitchen shears. Add a bit of your grease and turn it to medium, then ignore it for like five minutes. Move the chicken around a bit, then toss in your bouillon cube, seasoning (I used paprika, garlic, salt and pepper), and a couple cups of water. Turn the heat up a bit – or don’t, whatever, this is not meant to be a mentally involved cooking exercise – and, when it comes to a boil throw in the pasta. Small pasta’s probably easier, but if fettuccine’s a necessary part of your comfort food experience, go for it. The pasta should take as long as indicated on the box. If you’re doing veggies, throw them in when you’ve still got a couple minutes to go.

When the pasta’s tender, you’re ready to go. Most recipes I see give servings, and some even apply the magic power of math as applied to measurement for calories, but this is a judgement-free zone. This made a bowl each for T and I, but it’s easily alterable and if you’re feeling as sick as I was it’s a tremendously legitimate life choice to just sit down with the whole thing and a sleeve of crackers and devour the whole thing.

Creamy Potato Soup

It’s still soup weather, so I tried out a recipe T’s mom sent me for potato soup. Being incredibly disorganized and having used the last of the non-flavored cream cheese on cheesecake, I ended up making some substitutions.

It turned out pretty well, so here’s how I made it:

Ingredients:

  • bag of hash browns
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 4 cups water, though if I make it again I’ll probably use 3 and make it a little thicker
  • 2 cubes of bouillon
  • 3 chicken thighs
  • little bit of sautéed onion, garlic, salt and pepper to taste
  • shredded cheese

Like, just throw all of it but the shredded cheese in the crock pot. Cut the chicken thighs into bite-sized chunks, but everything else just gets dumped in. Turn the crock pot on high, cover it, and walk away for two hours. Stir it once or twice, then walk away for another two hours. I think it’d be more like six on low.

When you’re dishing it up, put shredded cheese on top.

If you want to add vegetables, shredded carrot or zucchini would probably work well, but this is ridiculously simple and filling and good, and I’m going to have leftovers for ages.

Miso Soup with Stuff In

We had miso soup packets sitting around that were expiring soon. I think I got them all, but I might have left a breeding population, in which case we’ll have another set of miso soup packets to use up in a couple months. And, obviously, I made soup with them. But T doesn’t like soup that’s mostly broth – neither do I, really, but not to the point of not eating it. So I made a meal soup that turned out surprisingly delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 3 miso soup packets
  • 1 block tofu
  • 1 thing of sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • handful or two of string beans/green beans – the kind not from a can
  • sweet soy glaze or other marinade

I started off a couple days ago slicing the block of tofu into slices and sticking it in a container with marinade – making sure there was marinade between each slice. I went with sweet soy glaze, because it was right there in the store looking convenient. I think it worked really well, though – didn’t overpower the taste of the mushrooms.

Then today I rinsed the mushrooms and sautéed them in butter, low and slow. I cleaned the string beans, too, and cut them into bite-sized bits. Once the mushrooms were done, I put the mushrooms in a bowl with the string beans and started the tofu in the same pan – luckily it was large enough to hold all of the slices, but you might have to do it in batches. I raised the temperature to the low end of medium.

When I flipped the tofu, I also started about 4 cups (probably?) of water to boil. When the water got hot but not yet simmering, I threw in the beans and mushrooms. I wanted just the edge off the crispness of the beans, but not for them to be super cooked.

The tofu started to look about done, so I used a spatula to cut it into little cubes. Extra firm tofu still gives way really easily. I turned down the heat, but left the tofu on. When the soup came to a boil, I added the miso packets, turned the heat down, and dumped in the tofu. Give that like a minute, turn off the heat, and serve.

It’s delicious!

If you’re not strictly vegetarian, add a dash or five of Worcestershire Sauce to round out the flavor a bit (it’s got anchovies in it, so not exactly vegetarian-friendly).

From tumblr: More soup

Today was a flop, so here’s a recipe from my tumblr:

So we had some Cream of Celery soup that was called for in a recipe, but that we upgraded to something else after we’d bought it. So this can of soup was just sitting around.

I decided to use it. But how do you turn Cream of Celery soup into food?

  • 2 chicken thighs
  • can of cream of celery soup
  • a generous handful of rainbow rotini
  • paprika
  • shredded cheese
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic
  • flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter

I started the cream of celery soup + can of water on the stove on medium, and dumped in about a teaspoon of diced garlic, and melted butter in another pan. Then I mixed two teaspoons or thereabout of flour with about a teaspoon of paprika and a bit of salt and pepper – plus a shake or two of seasoning salt and a little tiny sprinkle of chili powder – in a bowl. The chicken thighs I cut up into bite-size chunks with kitchen shears, dropping them right into the bowl of flour. Make sure the pieces are well coated, then drop them in the butter.

The soup at this point was starting to warm, so I dumped in the pasta and stirred it all up. 10-ish minutes? It needs to come to a boil and then cook the pasta. I also dumped the leftover flour mixture in, for more paprika flavoring. When the pasta was done, I poured in about half a cup of shredded cheese, and dumped in the chicken.

It tastes pretty good? Sort of warm and creamy and paprika-y, with unavoidable celery notes. T remains unconvinced that it’s food, but T hates everything. The chicken, at least, is really good. The recipe would have been better with cream of chicken soup, but, hey, if you have a can of cream of celery soup for some reason, you can make it edible!

From Tumblr: Creamy Potato and Chicken Soup

Recipe from my tumblr, because I’m drowning in homework.

Ingredients:

  • 3 chicken thighs
  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • low sodium chicken broth
  • shredded cheese
  • milk
  • garlic, paprika, and pepper to taste – sub various Italian spices (Italian spice blend, or basil and oregano) if you want, it’ll still taste good, though different.

So we had the remains of a thing of chicken broth – maybe 2/3 of a cup? Dump that in the pot, turn it on high. Chop the chicken into bite sized chunks – or, if you’re me and really hate touching raw meat, hold the chicken just poking out of the plastic bag you stored it in and use kitchen shears awww yeah. Add the chicken to the stock – you want it at least partly cooked by the time you add the potatoes or the potatoes pick up a weird raw chicken taste. I’ve done it before and I don’t like it.

Wash and cut the potatoes into small bits! Like, bite-sized. I usually quarter the potato and then cut slices off.

Add potatoes, can of soup, and spices. I used two heaping teaspoons of diced garlic, because we like garlic and because potatoes tend to just suck up spices never to be seen again. Mix, then add enough milk so that potatoes aren’t poking up out of it. A generous splash? A quarter cup? Something like that.

Simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to get stuff off the bottom, dish up, top with shredded cheese (pre-shredded pizza blend is what I used).

It is cheesy and creamy and delicious. T will eat it.

From tumblr: Miso Imitation Crab Soup

So tonight’s dinner is I Swear To God I’m An Adult Soup.

Which features:

  • green beans
  • imitation crab
  • miso soup mix that my mom bought me

I made it in a pan. I used three of those little packets of miso soup that say to mix them with 2/3 of a cup of water, so I put two cups of water in the pan and then ripped the stems off the green beans with my bare hands and dumped them in there. If I were doing this again, I’d then have waited like five minutes before adding the imitation crab. But I just dumped it all in there. Like two and a half bucks worth. Idk how much that was in quantity and I don’t want to dig it out of the garbage, but a fair amount.

Then I waited like two minutes, then dumped in the miso soup mix, then waited until it was just coming to a boil, then dumped the whole thing in a big bowl. It’d probably make a smallish dinner for two. Breaking the green beans into bite-size chunks might also work well. It’s pretty delicious, though.

Vegetarian option: marinated (orange ginger or mirin + whatever seemed like a good idea at the time) tofu instead of imitation crab.

(made last summer, when I had few utensils and no roommate)