Hey.... this looks like a good place for a food blog. Think maybe I should post a recipe? (since I haven't posted one in almost a month.)
Since I've quit smoking (4 months today..YAY!) my monthly visits to the doctor have reported steady weight gains so don't assume that just because I'm not blogging about food, I'm not eating it. The doc just keeps winking at me and saying "good job," like maybe he's confused about things and he's thinking I'm pregnant. I just nod and buy a bigger pair of fat pants on my way home.
Now on to the soup. Why rustic potato soup? Because I didn't feel like peeling the potatoes, of course! Please do so if you find skins unappealing. (There's a pun in there somewhere, I just know it.) This soup could also be made with two quarts of chicken broth and a splash of cream at the end if you're not wanting to use all milk. I just happened to have a half gallon of skim milk that needed used ASAP so I went that route instead. And I would be remiss if I didn't asked for forgiveness for using a little Velveeta. You can take the girl out of the country but that won't make her any less processed-cheezy.
Rustic Potato Soup
1 TBSP olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large carrot, small dice
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded, diced
salt and pepper
1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
2 quarts milk (I used skim)
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
4 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed and peeled or unpeeled, small cubed
4 ounces Velveeta, cubed
sour cream and chives, optional as garnish
In a large nonstick soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add the onion, celery, carrot and red bell pepper. Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Saute until onions have become translucent, 6-7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute or two. Stir in the milk, bouillon cubes, rosemary and thyme. Add the cubed potatoes and reduce heat to medium. Stirring often, bring soup to a slow boil and boil for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat. Place about 3 cups of soup into a blender and carefully puree. Return puree to soup and add Velveeta cubes. Stir until cheese is melted. Serve garnished with sour cream and chives, if desired.