Saturday, November 30, 2013

Dilled Potato Soup

Got leftover mashed potatoes? What are you going to do with them?

How about a dilled potato soup?

Maybe it's the Polish in me, but I find it hard to resist anything pickled. When I was a kid, if I was going to sneak something out of the refrigerator as a little snack, there's a good chance it would be a dill pickle.

So, when I first "met" dill pickle soup, I was enthralled. It's not like drinking pickle juice, but the pickles add a nice tang to what might otherwise be a pretty ... um ... normal ... soup.

If you're freaked out by pickles in soup, you can skip 'em and you'd have a nice potato vegetable soup.

This soup is infinitely customizable. To begin with, you're using leftover mashed potatoes - with whatever you put in them. Garlic, butter, cheese, chives - it's all good. Then we have the leftover vegetables. I had broccoli and cauliflower, but peas, carrots, green beans, lima beans - just about anything would work.

And then there are the pickles. There are endless brands and varieties, but if you like to eat the pickle, you'll like it in the soup. Trust me. If you're squeamish but curious, start with less pickle and add more to taste.

Since everything is cooked, this soup can be ready to eat in about 5 minutes. It's better if it simmers for a while so the flavors mingle, but it's not necessary. And it's great the next day, too.

Dilled Potato Soup

2 cups left over mashed potatoes
2 cups liquid - water, stock, milk, cream - whatever you have on hand. A mix is fine.
1 cup left over cooked vegetables
1 teaspoon dill weed (more to taste)
1 dill pickle, diced (or about 3 baby dills, diced)

Combine the potatoes, liquid, vegetables (chop them roughly if the pieces are large), dill weed, and pickles in a medium saucepan.

Heat to a boil, stirring to break up the mashed potatoes. Lower to a simmer. Taste for seasoning.

Since you're starting with ingredients that should have already been seasoned and the pickles are salty, you might not need to add any extra salt or seasoning, but add more dill, salt, or ground pepper, to taste.

Do you like those pickle bits in the soup? You can add more, and a few bits of diced dill pickle make a nice garnish on the soup.

Serve hot.