Friday, July 31, 2009

Soup Night

I think soup is one of my favorite things to eat. I know it's more of a winter thing - I really don't care for the summer cold soup thing and besides it's not warm enough in SF! A few years ago I started a Soup Night with a few other neighbors. I just love having good friends as neighbors; we've lived in SF for 20 years in 3 different parts of the city and we still have dear friends from our 1st apartment. It is such a nice and easy way to hang out - no driving necessary which for quite a few reasons makes it the best ie: drinking or parking! In our first apartment in downtown SF (lower nob hill, upper tenderloin!) we had a kind of commune type lifestyle in that it was 6 units and when Stephen from downstairs could smell dinner in our place (#3) he was at my door. Not to mention the many evenings lounging in our pj's up at Lydia's watching TV and drinking wine. In fact we spent the whole evening after the '89 earthquake at Lonnie and Ken's drinking all the wine we could find surrounded by candlelight and listening to the one radio that worked. I digress as usual. Anyway my point is it can never hurt to have neighbors as friends and it's usually a bonus that you can walk home from dinner. So back to the soup night thing, the point was to have a easy and not stressful dinner. The person who is hosting makes the soup (or a one pot meal works too) another person makes a salad, another brings bread and someone else brings the wine. Just keep it simple and it makes for a great weeknight break. We picked the 1st Wednesday of the month (people book up on the weekends, so a weeknight is sometimes an easier night to get a group of busy people together) If you feel lonely and live in a big apartment building reach out to a neighbor and start your own Soup Night! (it's also a great way to see other peoples homes and decorating ideas) I just realized that 2 of my other recipes are soups - see I told you I loved them. This Potato Cheese Soup is one of my comfort food favorites - invite some friends over! 

Potato Cheese Soup - serves -6

1 small onion finely diced (I have a thing about big hunks of onion)
4 Russet Potatoes, peeled and diced
2 carrots sliced into rounds
6 cups chicken stock
4 T. butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups hot milk
2 cups grated sharp cheddar (my favorite is Cabot's seriously sharp that a lovely lady Cricket brings out to us from Vermont)

Saute the onion in a little butter & olive oil (I mix the 2 so that the butter doesn't burn) then add the potatoes, carrots and stock and simmer for about 35 min. until all is soft. In another pot melt the butter and then add the flour and cook for a couple min. then add the hot milk stirring quickly as it thickens up pretty fast. When it's thick take off the heat and add the cheese and stir until melted. Add the milk/cheese mixture to the soup, season with s&p and serve. 

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