The downside to a great vacation is the equally un-great return to Life As We Know It. Wednesday morning came far too soon, especially since we were still on California time. Looming ahead of me was the usual post-vacation stuff – luggage to unpack, laundry to do, a cat to sedate (honestly, she was so happy to see us I think she purred for 12 hours straight). Then there were the added thrills of calling Triple A to jump the car battery and hosing down my son’s homework, which was accidentally doused in OJ during the morning melee. Sure, it was hectic, but it also makes for great blog content. I couldn’t make up anything better if I tried!
And, so, in the midst of all this I also had to come up with some kind of dinner, since it would be the only meal I was making for the rest of the week. The contents of the refrigerator resembled stuff you’d find in a bachelor pad of a guy who never, ever ate at home.
I scrounged together a few pantry and leftover items…
And stole my momma’s last 4 Russet potatoes to add to it. Shameless.
Thinking about soup, I strolled around the Internet and landed on a great idea thanks to one of my favorite food blogs, For The Love of Cooking. I did have to hit the corner store and pay a fortune ($7.00) for a block of cheese and pint of half-n-half, but it was SOOOOO worth it!
This is some good stuff – creamy, so filling, and really delicious! My husband and I, and the eldest really loved it. The other two will come around eventually
You could easily make ahead and reheat via a slow cooker on the low setting, or just make during the day when you have time and zap in the microwave when it’s time to eat.
Creamy Potato and Chicken Soup
adapted from For The Love of Cooking
1 c. diced onion
1 c. diced celery
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 T. butter
2 tsp. olive oil
4 c. chicken broth
6 c. diced potato (I used a mix of Yukon, red and Russets)
2. cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 c. half-n-half (or substitute 2% milk to lower fat)
5 oz. grated extra sharp cheddar
salt and pepper to taste
1) Heat butter and olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Saute onion, celery and pepper until softened, about 5 minutes.
2) Add chicken broth and potato and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes.
3) Turn heat to low. Lightly mash the mixture, so about half of the potatoes are mashed and the rest are left in chunks.
4) Add chicken, half-n-half, and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Simmer gently — do not boil — for 10 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste.