This soup is one of my all time favorites. It is easy to make and delicious. My wife Marie made the soup many years ago (early 1980’s) and it was a great hit with family and friends. After eating it you get the feeling that the world is a pretty good place. The anecdote that accompanies this story is both funny and scary.
My parents came to visit Marie and me for a few days. Their normal diet denied ever using garlic or foods like Kielbasa, and that was for reasons of preference only. So, here is Marie making this potato soup that surely has garlic and Kielbasa in it, and I found myself wondering what would happen when she served it, especially with my Dad who was very picky and negative about trying new foods … particularly anything that might contain garlic.
Lo and behold! He loved the soup so much that he couldn’t stop eating it, bowl after bowl. I was amazed. Finally, he could hold no more. Then Marie served his all time favorite dessert, home made coconut cream pie, made as Marie made all her cream pies, with very rich pudding filling and freshly made whipped cream as the topping. Well, he just had to have some of that pie too. Oh, boy! Then he had to have a second piece because it was so good.
At that point he was way too full, so he excused himself and went into the living room to stretch out on the sofa and rest. And he proceeded to fibrillate! Fortunately he recovered without a trip to the hospital, but now you understand just how this soup can really get to you. It sure got to him!
After Thanksgiving this year (2010) Janet and I had lots of leftover mashed potatoes and two, very large leftover baked russet potatoes. We wondered how to use the leftovers and POW, I thought about Marie’s soup. Sooo … the recipe below is the one I just used as I do not have the original recipe Marie used, but this one is right on target.
There is one essential thing you have to know and do in this recipe, and that is to stir the soup while the liquid is reducing while simmering. Failure to stir will allow the potato to stick to the bottom of the soup pot, even if it is a non-stick pot, and that would not be good.
Done right the soup is the consistency of a chowder, thick and rich but not pasty. The directions below tell you when to stop the cooking.
2 14 oz. cans of chicken broth
1 14 oz. can of water
1 lb. of Smoked Kielbasa cut into rounds about ¼ inch thick
1 qt. of leftover mashed potatoes or three very large russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 very large russet potatoes peeled and chopped into pieces about ¾"x3/4"x1/2"
6 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped fine
1 pint of sour cream
1 large sweet onion chopped fine
1 tsp. of white pepper
2 tsp. of fresh rosemary, chopped
Salt to taste (the Kielbasa has salt so I wait until the end of the cooking, taste the soup and add salt as appropriate, but never more than 1 tsp.)
Put the chicken broth, water, white pepper, chopped rosemary, chopped onion, chopped potatoes and chopped garlic into a four quart soup kettle or pot. Bring to a rapid boil on high heat and then reduce the heat to very low and let the contents simmer for fifteen minutes.
If you are using a quart of leftover mashed potatoes, add them now and stir the soup thoroughly to mix the contents well. If you are not using leftover mashed potatoes you have already added five very large chopped russet potatoes and that is enough. You decide how to balance the number of chopped potatoes with your leftover mashed potatoes if you have less than one quart of mashed potatoes.
Add the cut pieces of Kielbasa and simmer the soup covered for about 30 minutes to make the potatoes totally cooked and soft. If you used mashed potatoes then stir the soup every few minutes. If you didn’t use mashed potatoes then remove about three fourths of the cooked potatoes after 30 minutes of simmering and mash them with a hand masher and put those mashed potatoes back into the soup.
Add one pint of sour cream and stir well to mix completely. Continue simmering the soup while stirring every two minutes to loosen any potato that sticks to the bottom of the soup pot. When the liquid level in the soup pot has lowered by one inch the soup is done.
Taste it and adjust the seasoning (salt and pepper) to please yourself.
Serve it and you will get rave reviews. It goes well with a small salad and perhaps something light and fruity for dessert.