Potato soup. The way my mama makes it. Technically I think it’s more a chowder than a soup, but let’s not get fussy about rules here, people.

Potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions. That’s all you need to know.

This could be modified in about 7,548 ways – add ham, add sausage, add corn, add herbs, add broth instead of milk, add cheese, add whatever blows your hair back. I like to follow the recipe exactly. It’s simple food. That’s it.

Potato Soup

6 large-ish potatoes
3 or 4 large carrots
4 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, small dice
1 rib celery, small dice
Salt, pepper
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 cups milk

Life’s too short to peel potatoes, so fuhgeddaboutit. Chop them into 1 inch chunks and place them in a large soup pot. Do the same thing to the carrots. Cover with cold water and boil just until tender. Drain.

This is the weird part – reserve 1 quart of the cooking liquid before draining the vegetables. Trust me on this.

Put the same pot back on the stove over a medium high flame. Melt the butter. Add the onion and celery, season them lightly with salt and pepper. Saute until tender, about 8 minutes.

Sprinkle in the flour, whisk to combine with the veg. Cook 1 minute, then crank heat to high. Whisk in the milk, all at once. Continue whisking until the milk has thickened and is smooth and simmering. Add the potatoes and carrots back to the pot. Reduce heat to low. Taste for seasonings. Simmer gently for 5 or 10 minutes to combine flavors, then serve.

If the soup gets too thick, add some of the reserved cooking liquid to loosen it back up again. Don’t toss the liquid – keep it in the fridge. If the soup is reheated and needs to be thinned out again, add a bit more of the reserved liquid.