I remember my grandmother making the best potato soup when I was young. We all loved her cooking but her potato soup was like a drug, you couldn't just have one bowl. It is the ideal comfort food and I will be preparing it for my family more as we go into the cooler fall season. The only time I had soup anything like hers was at Jason's Deli, and you had to order early or they would be out. For some reason, they don't serve it anymore, but I can make it at home. Over the years, as I made this soup, I did improve on it. I will first give you her recipe, and then give you my add-ons.
7 Medium potatoes peeled and cubed (as if for mashed potatoes)
3 Cups of Celery (and yes, you can use the leaves)
1 Large Carrot
1 Medium Onion
2 Cups of Water
1 Cup of Chicken Broth
1 Teaspoon of parsley
1 Teaspoon of Salt
1/4 Teaspoon of Pepper
1 Quart whole milk
Put potatoes into a soup pot. Put celery, carrot, and onion in a food processor and chop into small pieces. Add to soup pot with potatoes. Add 1 cup of the water, the chicken broth, parsley, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until potatoes are well done. Do not drain! Add butter and mash the potatoes with a potato masher as thoroughly as possible. Add the remaining water and the milk. Simmer until thoroughly heated. Stir while heating to prevent the milk from scorching. If needed, add more salt to taste.
OK, that is the recipe that was printed in the recipe book. Now my tweaks.
The extra cup of water always bewildered me, but I think it is for times where one cup of water isn't enough because your water boils down too quickly, so you put some extra water in. What I do instead of the water is buy one of those boxes of chicken broth, it's about two cups, and put the whole thing in. I also use about 8 medium potatoes, but I am not an exact cook. If you have a small potato and a large potato, you can average them out and call it 2 medium potatoes. For that reason, it might not always be exactly 8. It's my math.
When I use the food processor, I use a blade that chops the veggies up really fine. Run it for 2 to 3 minutes, sliding the veggies into the lid slot. I like to clean the processor immediately because the veggies just come off easily if you do it right away. Otherwise it's way more work.
After I add the milk, I take out a big piece of bacon and cut it up in quarters and toss it in. Then put in some cayenne pepper. I only like a few shakes, but I know there are those of you out there that love heat, so go for it if you want.