|Most cooks already have a recipe for potato soup in their file box.
Ruth Eschedor with her potato soup. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
But if they dont have Ruth Eschedors recipe, they should consider an immediate swap!
Eschedor, of rural Bowling Green, recalls she acquired the recipe from her older sister, Edna, as a result of an act of neighborliness.
Edna had just moved into a house in Pioneer, Ohio and a neighbor had brought her the soup as a welcome gift. She had a little left over and shared it with Eschedor and a third sister who stopped by. We thought it was so good that my other sister and I brought the recipe home.
That was about two years ago, and weve made it a lot in that time, Eschedor noted. Its actually one of my husbands favorite soups, and its easy despite the somewhat extensive list of ingredients.
I think the sour cream is what makes it so good.
The soup is full and rich and so comforting, but with the perfect percentage of chunky goodness in the form of vegetables and ham or smoked sausage. The chicken boullion, Accent flavor-enhancer and good old Velveeta cheese also play important roles.
Eschedor admits to having distorted the recipe a bit from its humble beginning, especially when her son suggested making a clam chowder out of it. Hes right about the potato soup base being a wonderful start for either a shrimp or clam chowder.
A local native and 1966 graduate of Bowling Green High School, Eschedor followed up with beauty school, marriage, the births of two sons, and eventually a sales job.
Now Im doing more marketing than selling. Im a grocery wholesaler of everything from equipment to candy for a Knoxville, Tenn. company. Monthly round-trips to her corporate home base of Grand Rapids, Mich., are required.
Otherwise, Eschedor is quite happy sticking close to home.
I like to spend time with my five grandkids, aged 3 to 12.
Its fun cooking for them. And everybody gets what they want for the holidays. If we have bologna and turkey, thats okay!
Eschedor especially enjoys cooking for the big group at Thanksgiving and Christmas, when people want to eat!
As current president of the womens club of her church, Hope Lutheran, Eschedor finds still more opportunities to spend time in the kitchen.
She made her potato soup for the churchs yearly meeting, a big event, and its been passed on to all the women in the congregation.
She can heartily recommend the soup for large-group gatherings because it is so simple to prepare.
In 20 minutes its ready to add the stuff to it. I love that recipe so much, because you can do your own thing with it.
This weekend Eschedor is looking forward to combining four of her loves: cooking, family, holidays and their church community. She and her family will be spending the July 4th weekend at a camp-in hosted by Hope Lutheran.
We cook out on July 5th and have a (church) service there July 6th.
My husband made a cannon and we always take it down and set it off, a highly popular if noisy activity with the many children present.
Its fast becoming a tradition, in fact very much like his wifes potato soup.
Ruths potato soup
3 cups diced potatoes
1/2 cup celery
1/2 cup diced onions
1 1/2 cup water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
1 cup sour cream
2 T. flour
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. Accent
Velveeta Cheese in block (2-4 1/2-inch slices)
Chopped chives (optional)
4-6 oz. sliced smoke sausage or chopped ham (amount up to cook)
Combine potatoes, celery, onions, water, bouillon cubes and salt in large sauce pan. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Add one cup of milk and heat.
Mix flour, sour cream and one cup of milk until smooth, then slowly stir mixture into soup base. Cook over low heat, stirring until thick. Add cheese and cut up meat and cook until cheese melts.
* Adding small shrimp or clams makes a nice change to a great soup.
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