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Column: Loving the 'Soup Sundays'

One of my favorite parts of the week is our home’s weekly Sunday dinner.

When fall rolled around this year, it was nice to be able to introduce soups back to the menu. We all love soup, but it is not the same when it is 95 degrees outside, the window ac is struggling to keep the house cool, and even the cats are in a catatonic state.

In the middle of September, we started having “Soup Sundays,” which has been a massive hit, except for the week I stayed up too late on a Saturday night and wanted nothing to do with the kitchen.

While every soup has been tasty, there has been one that stood out above the rest. It was a potato soup loaded with several different types of meat, and everyone went back for seconds and some for thirds. I might have gone back for fourths, but I was stuffed for about a week with the three slices of bread.

It was one of those meals you can make quickly, and I had most of the ingredients in the fridge or pantry. It was a “kitchen sink” soup in all the best ways possible.

Shayla had mentioned she wanted potato soup, and I had never attempted it. It wasn’t my favorite growing up, but I have grown to like it over the years. It’s funny how that happened. My mom used to cook pork chops about 34 times a week, and I hated them, but now I love a great smoked chop.

I had carrots, garlic, celery, onion butter, cheese, and milk in the fridge, bacon in the freezer, broth, and flour in the pantry, so I just needed a quick trip to the store, where I grabbed a bag of potatoes, some heavy cream, and smoked sausage.

I started by throwing the sausage, bacon, and some leftover ham from breakfast in my soup pot in a little bit of oil, and within moments the house smelled amazing. I knew at this point it was going to be a fantastic meal. You cannot go wrong with that much pork in a meal, and it just cannot go bad.

Once the meat was cooked, I took it out, and threw in the vegetables and a stick of butter. I also scraped off some of the pieces from the bottom, and I find that is where the true magic comes from.

Once the vegetables had cooked for a while, I poured in around a half cup of flour. I’ll admit I’m not good about making things with flour, but I didn’t want the soup to be a runny mess.

After I did this, I added a box of chicken broth, a cup of whipped cream, and potatoes. I had managed to cut the potatoes without injuring myself with a knife, so it was already a good day in the kitchen.

Once I mixed everything, I added just about every seasoning I could find.

Onion powder, garlic powder, Cajun seasoning, chopped bay leaves, pepper – you name it was in there. I gently simmered the soup until the potatoes were soft and removed about half of them. I’m not good at making anything like gravy or things that need thickened, but I smashed half of the potatoes and put them back in with the meat, which I might have stolen half of while getting to this point. I cannot believe how much smashing half of the potatoes worked, and it made me do a passionate dance in the kitchen to celebrate.

It didn’t take long after this until the soup was ready to go, and I served it with some grated cheddar cheese and chopped green onions.

I was nervous because I stepped out of my comfort zone. I was also nervous because everyone was hushed for the first few minutes, and they were quiet because they were stuffing their faces. It turned out thick, which never seems to happen when I do white soups.

This was a surprise hit, and if you are looking for a great “Sunday Soup,” I recommend giving this a try.

Maybe don’t eat three slices of bread, though.