Yesterday morning was a bit of a rush. I was heading up to Brookings (a two-hour drive on good roads) to give a presentation for the Farm Beginnings class, and even though I got up early, I had to shower, feed and take out the animals, run to the store to get dog food, pack all my stuff, put final touches on the presentation–you know the drill.
Fifteen minutes before I had to walk out the door (giving myself time for uncertain road conditions and lunch before the class started), I realized I was going to be dead tired when I walked back in the door–the animals would be begging for food, and I wouldn’t have anything even close to hot and ready to eat for my exhausted self.
So, I made this soup. It literally took me 15 minutes from the uh-oh realization to the assembly to the walking out the door knowing I was going to have hot food at the end of my day. It isn’t meant to be fancy; it’s meant to be fast and easy and tasty.
Pull out your crockpot, plug it in, and set it on low. Throw in half a bouillon cube, some dehydrated minced onion, garlic, sage, thyme, and a good grinding of black pepper. Chop some ham (I am almost done with that enormous one–the need to use it up was a side-inspiration for the soup) and throw that in, too.
Don’t add any salt–the bouillon and ham are salty enough.
Drag out the food processor (with a 4-6 cup bowl) and fit it with the coarse shredding blade. Quickly scrub/wash and shred the potatoes ’til the processor bowl is full (I used Gary Bye’s red spuds–about six of them). Dump the potatoes in the crockpot, mix all the ingredients together with your hands, then add water to cover all.
Cut a tablespoon or two of butter over the top and put the cover on.
If the crockpot is totally full of potatoes and ham, and you think it’s not going to be very “soupy,” don’t worry about it. My ingredients were practically busting out of my 3 or 4-quart crockpot (I’m thinking I need a bigger crockpot for Christmas).
Walk out the door. You can do the dishes later.
When you get home, scoop out a serving and pour milk over the top (this is where it gets more soupy–and it also cools it off enough to eat) and mix it in. Maybe grind a little more pepper and grate some cheese over the top if you like.
And then sit back and relax and eat and be glad you’re home.
Local ingredients: potatoes, milk (NE), butter (MN), herbs.