As fall gets closer and closer (tomorrow in fact), I find myself wanting to make soup. It is such a comfort food for me, and I LOVE the way it makes the house smell. There are certain soups I like to make more than others, and I always like to try new ones as well. One soup that I make often in the fall and winter is potato soup. Not just any potato soup...my Grandma's Potato Soup. It is pretty much a guarantee that if I tell my brother I am making Potato Soup, he will find an excuse to "have" to stop over :)
I cut up a 5 lb. bag of Russet potatoes. I put the potatoes in a pot:
The next thing was two stalks of celery. Grandma showed me to cut the celery into smaller pieces so you don't get those long "celery strings" in the soup:
(If your kids are helping you, I would recommend buying two sausages. I always buy the turkey sausage to keep it a little leaner. Caden and Lilli LOVE sausage, and because it is already cooked, they like to eat a long the way.) After the sausage is cut up, I like to cook it a little in a pan to brown it up a bit.
When the sausage is browned up, you can just put that to the side for a bit. The soup will need to cook until the potatoes and carrots are tender. Once they are, you need to drain the water out of the pot. Then you take a potato masher (I have also used an immersion blender. I found that made it too smooth for my taste. I like the chunks), and you mash up the potatoes, carrots, and celery. Make sure to take out the bay leaf before mashing. You can mash until it is the consistency you would like. At this point I add: salt, pepper, paprika, parsley flakes, and onion powder. You need to add A LOT of seasoning, because the potatoes really soak it up. Then you add about 3-4 cups of milk depending on how thin you want it. I used skim milk, but you could use whatever type you would like. You could also just use water, even the water the vegetables cooked in, but then it isn't as creamy. It will end up looking something like this:
You will want to put the burner back up to just under medium to get it warmed through again. You can also add the sausage at this time. After it has warmed back up, you will want to taste to see what else you need to add. Most likely you will need to add more salt. You need to add a lot more than you think you do.