Thursday, February 23, 2017

Filling Tummies in Hard Times ~ Simple Potato Soup

Hard times, tough times, lean times, whatever you call it, it takes patience, prayer, creativity, and hard work to make the best of it. A little help and encouragement from friends, family, or church members as well as thrifty tips are great, too. 

Our family has gone through hard times. We've faced periods of unemployment, underemployment, and financial pressure.  The sweetness of this is that I have learned to pray and depend on God ever so much. I've also learned to be creative and resourceful with feeding our family. 



What do you get when you take some potatoes, an onion, some wimpy celery, some water, some milk, and some butter and call it dinner?

Potato Soup of Course!

Sometimes an exact recipe is not as important as knowing how to cook with what you've got. Measurements don't really matter too much in this soup. I never measure, but put in what looks right to me. Here's how I do it.


  • First peel a whole bunch of potatoes. I have a great big 10 quart pot and a husband and three growing kids to feed; so, I use a lot of potatoes. Use what you have. You should have quite a few potatoes in the pot compared to the other ingredients.Rinse the peeled potatoes and put them in the pot with water to cover them. Turn the heat on medium-high and bring the water to a boil. I don't cut up the potatoes because my husband likes the soup chunky. The potatoes will break up on their own when you stir them later.


  • While the water's heating, chop up an onion and add it to the pot. I use a couple of small onions or one large onion. Just think about your family's tastes and add accordingly. You can also add some minced garlic at this time, according to taste. Sometimes I add it; sometimes I don't.


  • Clean your celery and chop it up in bite-sized pieces. It's fine to use some of the leaves, too, if you like them. Again, if you really like celery, add a little more; if not, a little less.


  • Lastly, don't forget to add the salt. I probably use a little too much. You really need some for the flavor of the potatoes to be good.


  • Now, after the soup comes to a boil, turn it down just enough to keep a gentle boil going. Check the potatoes every once in awhile to see if they're getting soft, just like when you make mashed potatoes. When they're soft, drain most of the water through a colander into a big bowl. This broth can be used in another soup or to thin your potato soup when you serve the leftovers. It's really quite tasty to drink as well.


  • Turn the heat to low. Add a big chunk of butter to the potatoes. I know. It's not good for you; but, you can use a smaller amount if you like. It just improves the flavor so much. Real butter is best. Stir to break up the potatoes a bit and to help melt the butter.


  • Add milk, or a combination of milk and cream if fresh milk is available, until the soup reaches your desired consistency. Stir to break up the potatoes to your preferred thickness. I always add pepper at this point as well as a bit more salt. You can add more of the broth as well if you wish.

This is a very forgiving recipe. Use what you have. If you don't have much milk or cream, use more broth. I only use the cream if I can get fresh from the cow milk and skim the cream myself.

This is one of my survival in tough times recipes. Even a small amount, with a simple homemade biscuit or two will fill a hungry little or big tummy.


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A few years ago, life depended on me baking every day and making very simple frugal meals.   http://bit.ly/2laF6O8 (Tweet) 
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Whether these are good times or bad times is often dependent on how we look at things and how resourceful we are. Lean hard on the Lord. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Pray for creativity to do with watcha got.

God bless!
Laura
Happy at Home


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Related Posts:

This article was featured in issue #131 of
The Christian Home Magazine.






Home Matters
Wow Us Wednesday - Wonderful Wednesdays - Fluster's Creative Muster Making a Home

32 comments:

  1. Laura, this reminds me of my grandma's potato soup. She knew hard times, especially through the Great Depression, and knew how to make a meal out of whatever she could scrape together. This soup (with the butter, please, there's nothing unhealthy about butter, it's not transfats) sounds like something to be enjoyed in good times as well as lean times.

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  2. Hello Mrs. Laura,

    I love soup and potato is one of my favorites. I do prepare mine a little differently, here's my method:

    1.Peel and dice potatoes, onion and celery; add some diced carrot too, if desired.
    2.Melt butter in a large pot. Add the diced vegetables and sauté until the onion is translucent.
    3.Barely cover the vegetables with some chicken stock and water, about 50-50 OR just water; work with what you have.
    4.Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer until carrots and potatoes are tender.
    5.By the time the carrots and potatoes are tender some of the liquid should have evaporated and the soup should be slightly thickened. If not, drain some of the liquid.
    6.Stir in some milk (reconstituted is a great money saving substitute) or fresh cream to your preferred thickness.
    Salt and pepper to taste.
    7.Enjoy!

    Sometimes I add to this basic recipe the following or any combination of the following: diced broccoli, grated cheese, bacon or ham bits, diced link or pan sausage, diced asparagus, mushrooms,chopped kale, spinach or Swiss chard.

    Thanks for sharing your recipe --
    Mrs.B

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    1. Sounds delish, Mrs. B! What time shall I be there for supper? ~smile~

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  3. Oh Laura, I so needed this today. The money stretching of course, but the underlying reasoning, JUST GIVE IT TO GOD.
    I needed this desperately today, Tommy is still struggling with the pneumonia, and it's aftermath which can be just as bad. I won't go into the coughs, everyone can use their imagination to know how bad that is.
    But handing all of this to God, quit jumping thru all these mental hoops of should I/did I/ can I? If I just give it to God, that would & should stop. So, I am going to pray today for the will to just let it be, take care of what I can take care of, and leave the rest.

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    1. Dear Laurie,

      Sometimes we just have to tell ourselves, "Stop it!" Otherwise our thoughts can chase each other around in a whirlwind.

      Father God, please fill Laurie with your Holy Spirit and peace. Give her the clear mind and strength of body to do what she must do.
      Father please completely heal Tommy from tip to toe. Fill him with the Breath of Life and clear his lungs completely. I ask it all in the name of Jesus the Christ your precious Son. Amen.

      Hugs to you Laurie!
      Laura

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  4. One of our favorite meals!
    I'll add a bit of bacon, or ham, if we have it, and cheese is always, always good on this! I love one pot meals! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Oh bacon and ham would make this over-the-top yummy! Let's throw in some cheese since we're splurging!
      Glad to hear from you Tammy.
      Be blessed and come back soon!
      Laura

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  5. Laura: I always enjoy reading your blogs and articles. Good reading and I love the Tip section --- especially on being creative with the meals.

    I came across a recipe the other day (you might have already made it), but it was a "3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookie" recipe. I made them and they were better than the recipes with flour in them. If you would like to have it, I can send it to you. The cookies are made with regular staple products one most likely has in their pantry, so it was easy. My family loved them and I am sure your family would love them too.

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    1. You are so sweet Lisa! Thank you.
      I'd love to have your recipe Lisa!
      Sounds wonderful.
      I love peanut butter cookies.
      Laura

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  6. This sounds so yummy! I also add some shredded carrots, if I have them on hand, and a can of cream of celery soup is a good addition, too, along with some shredded cheese. We have had this soup many times through the years, too. You learn to make do with what you have, as you always say. God bless you, sweet friend. Praying much for you today.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you for praying for me today. God has been strengthening my faith this week through the teaching of Kenneth Hagin. The book is Bible Faith Study. I needed it today. My eldest was taken to the hospital emergency room today. He was dehydrated among other things. They treated him with fluids, and sent him home to rest. Thanks to God for preparing me. His symptoms were scary.
      Blessings,
      Laura

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  7. I do a very similar recipe. I've used canned milk. I also turn it into corn chowder by adding a can (or two) of drained corn. I've also used less milk and added creamed corn. I also recall throwing a chunk of leftover cream cheese in it!! Yes, it's very forgiving, everyone seems to like it, it's filling, and it's cheap!! All things I like.

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    1. Hi Debby,
      I'm loving reading all the different variations on potato soup. Yours sounds so good.
      Have a great week.
      Laura

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  8. This meal was served often when I was growing up. Sometimes cheese, bacon, ham and even sausage was added. I didn't realize it at the time but the add ins were those good weeks when there were leftovers to be used up. Like you said it fulled tummies and I never knew it was the stretch the budget meal.

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  9. We love a good and simple potato soup. It's good to enjoy anytime, whether it's tight or not. We eat a lot of potatoes around here!
    Your soup sounds a lot like the one I make and sometimes I'll stir in a can of cream of chicken soup to make it more creamy and bacon too! Yum!

    I hope you are having a great week!
    Thinking of you and sending hugs,
    Amy

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    1. Oh that does sound good Amy. What time's supper?

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  10. This is a favorite around our house. It goes great with a big pan of cornbread! Blessings to you & your family.

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    1. That sounds good. We love it with garlic cheese biscuits.

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  11. Hello Laura, Cold and rainy day today. Perfect day for a bowl of Potato Soup. I sure look forward to reading your blogs. Your love of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit is so evident in your writings. It spreads to all who read them. Thank you for what you do dear lady. Sending a Hug and a Prayer for snowflakes your way, Karla

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    1. You always know what to say to encourage me and spur me on to write. I'm so glad you see evidence of Jesus and Holy Spirit in my writings. I want to glorify God in all that I write. I often pray for those who write back to me and even for those who read my posts.
      I'm receiving the hug and I will receive the snowflakes too in Jesus' Name!
      Enjoy!
      Laura

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  12. Oh my goodness! This is how my mom always made potato soup. It's so simple and I truly prefer it to all the fancier "loaded" recipes popular today.

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  13. I'm going to try the "boiling 'em whole" method next time around. Potato soup requires 7 lbs. of potatoes at our house and it sure would be nice to save some chopping time! It's great to see a truly frugal recipe---and I agree that it's important to know how to make do in a poverty situation. Most of us will go through them...some of us many, many times. :) Love you, friend. Thanks for being a blessing!

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    1. I'm afraid I've been money poor many times. God has blessed me with the ability and knowledge to make do. He's also provided gifts from different sources and a living situation that help us to live beyond our income without incurring debt. Can't wait to get the van paid off! We have been years without a car payment, but when my van died a painful death, we had no choice. Fortunately, God put a Mennonite man in our path who found a great deal for us far below list price. Praise God!

      Well, I've got an Aldi fresh pizza in the oven, and it's almost done. They're good for six bucks!

      Be blessed,
      Laura

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  14. I enjoyed reading how you make your potato soup Laura, and how you don't cut up the potatoes... that is not only a thrifty soup, but time saving too! And yes, adding in a bit of ham, or crispy bacon and a bit of cheese would be just perfect. I just read above in your comment that your son was ill, I will pray that all is well! Those things are so scary! Hugs to you today dear friend!

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    1. Thank you for your prayers. My son is doing much better. He has an appointment next week to see a doctor. I hope they can get to the bottom of all of this, and that he will follow doctor's orders. ~smile~

      God bless!
      Laura

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  15. Hard times or good time, potato soup is super yummy! But yes, you are so resourceful and God blesses you because of it! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Thanks Jann! He does bless me, and I'm thankful for it.

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  16. I love these kinds of frugal and forgiving recipes Laura! Thank you for sharing it with us! :)

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    1. You're welcome Jes. So kind of you to drop in for a visit. Have a wonderful weekend.
      Laura

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Hello! I love it when y'all talk back!

I read all the comments I receive. I answer as many as I can. If you have a question, be sure I can reach you by email or subscribe to the comments.

Be blessed!
Laura