Omg it’s snowing!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! For real, snow is my favorite. Forever. And ever. And ever! If you live anywhere in the United States that is capable of actually receiving winter weather, chances are you’ve had some this week. 😀 Sadly, it is supposed to rain tomorrow and will wash it all away, but for now, I am enjoying it immensely! It has been a fairly quiet day at the house, I’ve got a test tomorrow, one on Wednesday, a semester project due Thursday…you know how it goes, school forever. So, I’ve been spending my day reading page after page, and powerpoint slide after powerpoint slide. I finally decided to give up on it for a bit and do something else. I wanted to go buy ornaments for the tree, but the Ryan wasn’t keen on me driving in this weather, so I had to stay in. Sad, because yesterday during the break from my studies I managed to string lights up on the Christmas tree. 🙂 It’s our first real, big tree, huzzah! (Last year was just a dinky 2 foot table top dude because we traveled out of state for Christmas, and the year before that we celebrated Christmas in separate states so we didn’t have one then either!)
The house is still messy from the wedding, but I cleaned enough to put this guy up, as well as some of the other decorations we’ve got. The Ryan and I have both inherited Santa figurines from our deceased grandparents over the last few years, so I have decided to keep the trend going and collect Santas for decoration every year. I am really excited to build up my stash! 🙂 And someday when we own a grown up house, I hope to have a fireplace to hang the stockings with care by. But for now, the bookshelf will have to do. I think later on this evening when I take a second break, I will put up all my tiny ornaments from last year’s tabletop tree. At least the top of the tree could be decorated. Anywho, for my first break, I decided to make the Ryan and I some lunch, and then started thinking about what I could do for dinner. I didn’t really feel like cooking anything, and I knew that the time I spent hovering over the stove would be time I wasn’t studying. So I turned to my almighty crockpot. Sadly, I won’t be testing out the new one just yet, as it’s still over at our friend’s house. I had to work the day after Thanksgiving, but people were demolishing my cider (which, by the way, tasted AMAZIIIIIIIIIIING!!!!!) so I left the crock pot there. Today I just have our tiny old one, which is just peachy. After Googling crock pot potato soup recipes, I settled on this one. I have all the ingredients, and since the Ryan didn’t want to go out (for stuff like, you know, bacon), it was perfect. Plus, all I had to do was cut stuff up and walk away. Yay! I decided to leave all the skin on the potatoes, mostly because I am lazy and wanted to save time (and was so not in the mood to peel them today), but also because that’s where all the nutrients are. I have an immersion blender, so I don’t actually care whether the skin is there or not. It’s going to get chopped up anyway. So I rinsed my potatoes and set to cutting them.
Normally I would have used a white onion, but I had this red guy leftover from an enchilada casserole I made up the other night (it was really good, in case you were wondering :P), so why cut a new one when I can use this? Also, another thing I have recently done was decide to freeze all my garlic. Why, you say? Well, the Ryan and I were out at the store one day and he saw a giant bag of probably 20 heads of garlic in it for a really good price. He looked at me (we all know how much he loves garlic) and gave me puppy face, so I was like hey, let’s buy this. I’ll figure out something to do with it! And then promptly didn’t because the wedding was crazy. I didn’t want it to go bad, so I researched ways to preserve it. The easiest was to break the cloves off and pop them in the freezer. They will keep for a long time, and you can thaw them out as you need them. They thaw out pretty quickly, though they get mushy, if that matters to you. Since I always send my garlic through a press, I honestly don’t care.
I decided to go a little astray form the recipe and saute my garlic and onions first to bring out the aromatics and open up the flavors for the soup.
Meanwhile, I made ready the potatoes (YARRR MAKE READY THE SAILS, MATEYS! Yeah, I’ve been listening to Scottish Pirate Metal over the last week. Don’t judge me!) by adding the basil and parsley, and I also found a recipe that called for adding butter for richness while I was browsing, and decided to do that as well. The recipe I saw called for 1/4 cup of butter, but I felt like that was WAY too much, so I just added a thin spoonful.
When the garlic and onions were soft and fragrant, I added them into the potatoes and stirred them around a bit to get them mixed in well. Then I added the chicken stock, stuck the lid on, and turned that bad boy to high.
About 45 minutes before the 3rd hour was up, I decided to get the half-and-half out and mix it with the flour, and then let it sit to bring it down to a warmer temperature so it wouldn’t seize and curdle in the hot soup. I have had this happen to me in the past and it is no fun. Like how I stirred it with a fork because both of my whisks were in the dishwasher? Yeah, me too. 😛
When the time arrived, I quickly mashed the potatoes with a spud masher. Just to be on the safe side, I decided to go ahead and temper the half-and-half/flour mixture by slowly pouring some of the soup into the bowl.
And then I stirred in the cream. Nom. And put the timer on for 30 more minutes. I might have also added the pepper and salt because I forgot that. And then I might have also added a dash of seasoning salt and some garlic powder too. Almost there!!
I asked the Ryan to help me out with grating cheese to go on top, of which he did a mighty fine job. Just look at those skills!
And then when the timer went off, I hit the soup with the immersion blender (which, by the way, is basically the greatest invention known to man. Thanks to my mother in law for it, I don’t know how I survived for so long without one!).
And voila! Creamy potato soup. Nothing better on a cold, snowy night than cuddling up on the couch, eating a bowl of hot soup, and admiring your Christmas decorations. 😀