Potato Carrot Cheese Soup

My family loves this soup and so does Josie Wolcott in my latest novel, Take Me Home. Who wouldn’t love a recipe with so few ingredients? All inexpensive staples that every home cook almost always has in his or her fridge, but still absolutely delicious.

Josie would call this another “Waiting for pay day meal.” But it’s so delicious and simple, I used to make it every Easter. The pale orange color with the flecks of green dill looked like Easter to me. My mother-in-law requested it every year. And the bonus is, the leftovers are delicious even cold, right out of the fridge.

Peasant food is my specialty. I also make a mean potato, carrot and cheese soup. Do you want me to make you some soups tomorrow? I love cooking soup on my day off, I just never make it for myself. Cooking for one isn’t much fun.” “I would love for you to make me some pasta fagioli.” His smile was engaging , he looked deep into her eyes. She held his gaze. ~ Take Me Home

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4 tblsp sweet butter, unsalted

2 cups chopped onions

2 cups peeled and chopped carrots

6 parsley springs (if you don’t have parsley handy, don’t worry about it)

5 cups chicken stock (homemade or in a carton)

2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill (you can’t skip this-it is essential)

salt and pepper to taste

2 good handfuls of grated cheese-I like sharp cheddar or swiss but have been known to use bagged taco cheese when that’s all I’ve got in the fridge

1) Melt the butter in a soup pot. Add onions and carrots and cook over low heat until tender. About 15 minutes.

2) Add parsley, stock and potatoes, bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer until potatoes are soft and can be easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.

3) Add dill, remove pot from heat and let cool, covered, for 5 minutes.

4) In batches, transfer soup to a blender and puree until smooth.

5) Return the pureed soup to the pot, set over low heat, add salt and pepper to taste, and a handful of cheese at a time, stirring until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

6) I like to garnish the soup with homemade croutons. While the soup is cooking, I cube leftover sourdough or Italian bread, toast in a  frying pan until golden brown and let rest until soup is ready.

One of my daughter’s friends had this soup at our house one night then told her mother she needed to start making homemade croutons. Her mom called to ask why on earth was I making homemade croutons when you could buy them in a bag. But seriously, it’s a great use for stale, day old bread and once you start making them, you’ll never want to use store bought again. Full disclosure here, I have always been a working mom and we rarely ate dinner before 7 p.m. but they really are that easy to make.

Thank you to the ladies of The Silver Palate Cookbook, Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins, for this recipe. One of my all time favorite cookbooks.

Enjoy and Happy Reading!

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