Potato Soup and Ugly Babies

February 19, 2013

First things first: I’m guest posting at Scary Mommy today about my ugly baby! Go here if you want to see the brutal evidence. And if you have an ugly baby picture of your own, submit it to Jill!


And after that, you can come back here and read about soup. :)


Greetings from Sick Bay! Yeah, you heard that right. We have been afflicted with S*%$storm Sickie the past two weeks. While y’all in the East were shoveling the literal stuff from your driveways, we were snowed in with the icks.

I blame myself.

I remarked to my husband a few weeks ago that, to my astonishment, the girls have both been quite healthy so far this winter.

When am I ever going to learn? A statement like that is suicide. Reveling in the health of your kids is asking for trouble and, true to form…Wham! Sh*$%storm Sickie.

And you know what gets me? My kids do the sickies in relay-fashion. Because it’s too easy for them to be violently afflicted at the same time, right? Nooo, these girls have to drag a good sick out for several weeks. Miss D. starts it, running strong, and then passes the baton to Miss M. just as I’m thinking the race is over.

You know those old Looney Tunes cartoons where an anvil hangs over the head of an unwitting Wile E. Coyote? Doesn’t take long for that sucka to fall, eh?

Dang, I’m dumb.

Just as the sickies were in gestational stage, I got an email from the PTO parent from Hades. You know, the one who wants to make teacher dinners interesing and creative and fun? Her. Alas, she is still in residence.

To my shock, most of the choices for this go-round were pretty dang sane. Hello, SuperBowl theme! Good to see you back! Why hey there, Soup and Salad Nite! You have been greatly missed, believe me.

But sandwiched in between those nights was the one fly in the ointment: BMES night. The initials of the Minxes’ school are BMES. Which of course makes a great, creative theme, don’t you agree? Thus, we were instructed only to bring food starting with a B, an M, and E or an S.

At first, this didn’t seem so troublesome, but then I clicked over the sign-up sheet and my heart dropped into my bowels.

Meatballs, meatloaf, muffelettas? Taken.

Spaghetti, salad and sloppy joes? Already gobbled up.

Baked ziti and baked beans and brownies…Gone

Eggs (deviled)? Ditto.

And of course napkins were already taken by the one freaking bull…snot lady who must have an inside edge with the PTO because she always scores napkins, and a few others in the bullsnot posse had eagerly scrawled their names next to plastic forks and spoons.

Shizzle. Stuck with an entree again.

So, I seethed a little and yearned to kick the cat but instead a tackled my Leaning Tower of Food Rags.  Twenty minutes of flipping later, I found the solution.

I cheated.

Guilty, readers. But hey, this was a situation, here. The original name for this soup was “Creamy Light Potato Soup,” but the flavors in it were heckalotta like those in a concoction called “Baked Potato Soup,” so I went for it.

Take that, weirdo PTO parent! You haven’t beaten me yet, even if I had to cheat just a leeetle bit this time.

My victory was doubly sweet because this soup totally qualifies for SMAM food. Win!

Now I will admit that this recipe is a little high maintenance, but your backside is a worth a few extra steps, right? Of course right.

It’s also really dang delicious and I couldn’t discern any evidence of cauliflower when I sampled it, which was good news because cauliflower and I don’t usually hang in the same circles.

Make up a pot of this before the next snowstorm hits. You won’t be sorry.


Cheater’s Soup (aka: Creamy Light Potato Soup)

from Cooking Light magazine

serves 8


1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

5 minced garlic cloves

1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 2)

1 lb. cubed Yukon gold potato

5 cups low-sodium chicken broth, such as Swanson

salt to taste

1 bay leaf

1 pound cauliflower, cut into florets (about half of a big head)

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

cooking spray

1 1/2 cups 2% milk

3/4 cup chopped green onions, divided

1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

2 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 1/2 cup)

4 slices of center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Heat a large Dutch oven (no hamster jokes!) over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan and swirl to coat. Add onion, thyme and garlic and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes, chicken stock, a dash of salt and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 35 minutes, or until potatoes are very tender, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf.

While the potatoes are simmering, toss cauliflower florets with 1 tablespoon olive oil, a little salt, and a little pepper. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and spread cauliflower evenly around. Roast at 450 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden, turning once.

Place roasted cauliflower and 2% milk in a blender. Blend carefully if the cauliflower is still hot! When the mixture is smooth, pour into a bowl.

Blend half of potato/broth mixture and pulse until coarsely chopped (about 5-6 times). Repeat with remaining potato mixture.

Place potato and cauliflower mixture back in the Dutch oven and heat through. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust accordingly.

Just before serving, stir in fat-free sour cream and 1/2 cup green onions. Serve in bowls, topped with more green onions, cheddar cheese and bacon crumbles.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Tiffany February 19, 2013 at 6:20 am

Part of me loves that lady for her creativity in honor of the teachers…but the bigger part of me feels your pain! :)


amber_mtmc February 19, 2013 at 7:33 am

What is it with the relay sickness?

I bet PTO lady loved you for making this soup.


Katybeth February 19, 2013 at 8:03 am

You win the clever mom award, for sure! And I’m sure your B dish was the tastiest too! Someone needs to speak up and smack down this ridiculous idea of food having to fall under certain letters. Enough already, parent’s have enough on their plate! Set a theme if they must and let it GO.


Arnebya February 19, 2013 at 8:46 am

I need you to undertsand how much of a soup whore I am. I LOVE SOUP. Year round (much like my robe. Attention, Target: robes are NOT seasonal, assholes.) I made potato soup for the first time this year as my husband circled the kitchen giving me the eyebrow arch of Smells Good, But Iono. It was delicious (and I’ve been too lazy to make it again.) Anyway. Damn I’m hungry now.


Jennifer February 19, 2013 at 3:15 pm

I love potato soup. It is one of my favorite things in all the world.

I dealt with the kids off and on sickies for three weeks. Guess who’s sick now? That’s right. Me. And it sucks.


suzicate February 19, 2013 at 7:12 pm

MMMMM, soup-you’re talking my language…and potato is the best!


elizabeth February 19, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Firstly, a little Futurama for validation of your clever circumnavigation of a rather silly theme:


(The number of times Michael and I say this is too many to admit.)

I hope both of the Minxes mend quickly! If I ate potato soups, I would eat this soup, but I’m still oddly anti-potato outside of gnocchi, and no I don’t understand that either.


Lisa @ The Meaning of Me February 19, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Love baked potato soup. We just had a strangely similar recipe – head of cauliflower with a potato in there for good measure. But ours was PINK. No kidding. Kidzilla was in heaven! And it tasted great, too, without being horrible for the tuchus.

Also, why BMES?


Jamie February 19, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Do me a favor? Fly to Santa Barbara and show this idiot how to make a decent soup. I keep trying but they all suck! I tried to make homemade butternut squash last night and Blondie called it baby food.


Contemporary Troubadour February 20, 2013 at 6:05 am

It actually could be baby food … but if you add the right spices, it turns into tasty goodness. I go for extra heat, which should knock out any of Blondie’s comparisons :)


Jamie February 22, 2013 at 11:43 am

I was totally lacking in the spice department! And you’re so right, I should have heated it more. Why didn’t I think of this at dinner time?!


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes February 20, 2013 at 5:46 am

If there is one thing I have learned from this blog it is to stay away from the PTO.


Contemporary Troubadour February 20, 2013 at 5:52 am

PTO lady is still at it? Geez, she’s got sticking power. Somebody ought to put you in charge instead — I imagine the teachers would be delighted. BMES indeed …


Sherri February 20, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Same here – the ick relay is in full stride. This soup looks really good. Are you sure this is a cheater’s recipe? I’m sure the PTO was floored (did you ever see that movie…. can’t think of the name of it…. with the bitchy PTO chick on the stairclimber providing commentary on all the other mothers????)


Naptimewriting February 21, 2013 at 12:23 am

Aw, dang, Kitchy. Now I’m all weepy.

Because my special date with my grandma every month was going to her house all by myself. And she’d make me potato soup.

And now I gots to go make my grandma some soup. I love soup. Love love love love soup.

And I love notalgia. Love love love love love.

So you have just given me the best gift of, like, all time. You spared me having to remember then looking for a recipe for…potato soup.



Barbara February 21, 2013 at 10:14 am

My daughters face would have stopped a clock. All mushed in on one side. And she turned out pretty damn well. But then, as my mother said (at the time) all babies are ugly at first, don’t worry. Mothers are almost always right.
The soup story is funny and I know exactly why you did it. When blogger Louise used to do the picnic game, I reinvented all sorts of titles, because I’d decide on the dish before I got to choose the letter.
Hope everyone is back to normal. My kids never all got sick at the same time either….so there were 3 episodes to go through.


Heather February 24, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Sadly my littles will not let creamy potato soup pass through their lips. They love their nana’s potato soup which is much more like a veggie soup in the way of broth. I, however, am in LOVE with creamy soup of any kind. So this goes in my stack of recipes for the kids are having mac and cheese night :)
Yucko on the icky sickys :( We’ve had them here too. Stupid winter weather! Hope everyone is on their feet and fighting once again ;) xo


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