Fall is my favorite season. I love the change in menu choices the cool, brisk weather brings: apples, squashes, roasts, casseroles, and soups begin to appear on our table. Soup is one of my all-time favorite foods. I love to cook it as much as I love to eat it. You can use anything from humble leftovers to pricey gourmet ingredients in a soup. Soup is a very forgiving dish to prepare, so you can be creative.
The world's first restaurant opened in 1765 in Paris, France, and the first dish it offered was... you guessed it - soup! The soup was a cream based dish of stewed sheep's feet. I know, it doesn't exactly make my mouth water either. But the soup was touted for it's restorative powers. In fact, that's where the word restaurant comes from. The chef, Bolanger, hung up a sign outside his eatery which read: "Come to me, all who labour in the stomach, and I will restore you."
Bolanger was onto something. Soup makes you feel restored and comforted. Here's a soup recipe that will definitely make you feel good (don't worry- no sheep's feet included)!
Smoky Two Potato Chowder
My friend Adora Ladisic invented this soup when she was in the mood for potato soup, but only had two tiny Russet potatoes. However, she had several large sweet potatoes in the pantry and tossed them in the soup in place of the missing white potatoes. Her family loved the soup, and so does mine. The smokiness of the sausage works well with the subtle sweetness of the potatoes, and sharp cheddar balances everything nicely.
4 medium yukon gold or white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 rib celery, chopped fine
4-5 cups chicken broth (enough to cover potatoes in pan)
1 ring smoked sausage, sliced (I use turkey sausage)
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
Combine all ingredients (except milk, cornstarch, and cheese) in large pan. Cook until potatoes are tender. Mix cornstarch and milk until smooth. Stir cornstarch mixture into soup and stir until soup thickens slightly. Add cheese and stir until melted together.