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.

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 saut̩ed 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 Рluckily 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).

Artichoke Heart Creamy Pasta

I love artichokes in all their forms, and lemon juice, and capers. So I stuck them together with pasta. Quick and dirty, because I had a paper to finish.

Ingredients:

  • cream cheese
  • 1 can artichoke hearts
  • capers
  • lemon juice
  • garlic
  • pepper
  • butter
  • pasta

I started the butter on low and the pasta water on high while I drained and quartered the artichoke hearts. Then I put that and the garlic and the rest of the thing of capers that I had and a generous splash of lemon juice in the pot with the butter. The cream cheese came next – in the normal course of things I’d’ve preferred to make a roux, because they’re not complicated and then you have more control over exactly how it tastes. But this version turned out pretty well, with about three tablespoons of cream cheese. Probably? A fair chunk, anyways. Then I sprinkled a little bit of pepper on top. Not a lot, because T hates pepper, but it really works well with the lemon.

Keep that on medium heat until the pasta is done, combine, and serve.

Add chicken, I guess, if you want more protein, but it’s delicious as is.