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The Recipe Vault #5: Cryptic Minimalist Potato Soup

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For those who have just come across The Recipe Vault, this little project is all about having a look at a huge collection of recipes my mother accumulated over I don’t know how many years. They’ve been packed away at our place for a very long time, waiting for someone to come along and do something with them. My mom loved to cook and she dreamed of one day writing a cookbook, something she never had the opportunity to complete. Sharing some of them here on 27th Street is like piling into a time machine and going back to my childhood for a wee visit. Enjoy.

Not all of Mom’s recipes were well developed. I came across this one for potato soup which is downright cryptic. It does point out one of the first laws of my mom’s recipes. Just because the name of the recipe only mentions a vegetable doesn’t mean it’s a vegetarian recipe. This one begins by frying up some bacon and onions. As they go, this is a fairly light recipe – unlike many of them, it doesn’t involve sour cream but instead uses milk. She doesn’t specify but I’m sure she meant whole milk. It only has 5 ingredients plus water, salt and pepper – it doesn’t even include stock.

I’m sure this simple soup is very tasty. One thing seems unusual. Anytime I have added potatoes to soup I’ve just tossed in the potatoes raw. I suppose she wanted some of the starch to boil off before the potatoes are added, but it would never occur to me to do that. Wouldn’t that also boil off nutrients? In my mind, the potato starch can only add body. It would also depend on the variety of potatoes used, since some are starchier than others, but this cryptic recipe doesn’t specify.

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