We'll get back to talking about books soon, but right now here's an old recipe I have for a good autumn soup. It's from the hollers of western Virginia, served by a lady named Sandy. I don't even know if I ever met Sandy, but not only do my mother, sister, and I love her potato soup, I've also passed it on to my mother-in-law, who has blessed her entire church with it. Sandy, your soup has a delicious legacy!
With no further ado:
Peel (or don't) your favorite potatoes--lots of them. Cube them (or dice them) and set them to boiling. Once they're soft, you can leave them be or slightly mash them--this all depends on how you like your potatoes. I like huge chunks; my husband likes tiny pieces. And sometimes we like them smashed.
Once the potatoes are cooked, add chopped/diced onions, celery, carrots. Dump in a bunch of dried parsley, and simmer until the carrots and celery are soft.
Take a can of cream soup (any type you like) and a can of evaporated milk. Whisk together in a separate bowl and heat about 2 min. in the microwave. Pour into your soup pot--if you want your soup to be more of a chowder, remove about half the water first. If you want it soupy, keep all the liquid. Or anywhere in between! Stir together, add about 1 tsp. salt and 1/t tsp. pepper, and let it all simmer very gently. Don't let it boil.
Top with grated cheese, sour cream, bacon, and our favorite, Chipotle Tabasco sauce. But it's also delicious just with a little coarse salt and freshly-ground pepper. Serve with crusty bread and salad, and everyone will be happy! Thank you, Sandy.
*You'll notice very vague directions in this recipe--think of soup as a type of dish, rather than a recipe, and just make it how you think it'll taste good. And it will!