Tricia’s October Potatofest Recipes

by Tricia H on October 27, 2011

Our feeding the larger family ways will help you feed a crowd and take a break during the holidays!

October is potato month for me for several reasons. Not only are potatoes frugal and can be served in a variety of ways, but October is right up next to November and December. October is the month I pile the potatoes in the freezer­ – freeing me up at holiday time. Potatoes feed a crowd and fill tummies for the holidays and every day.

I pick one Saturday for what I call a Big Cook. I cook potatoes and oversee the children packing Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes and making homemade wrapping paper (using designs cut into potatoes, of course!). Everyone is busy.

White potatoes:

It’s a batch cooking session of great poundage. With 20 pounds of white potatoes I make freezer mashed potatoes with these in mind:

  • Thanksgiving
  • Sunday family dinners
  • Christmas gatherings (in my experience the freezer potatoes are perfectly delicious having been saved in the deep freeze. Not grainy at all. Might also be the sour cream!)
  • Busy weeknights – take a pan to the holiday party

If I plan ahead I prewash all those potatoes on the rinse cycle like Happy Housewife does so I can avoid standing at the sink for so long. I use this recipe for freezer mashed potatoes, boiling the white potatoes on the stove because I’m using the slow cooker for supper. I quadruple the recipe for my 20 pounds, making (8) 8×8 pans or (4) 8×10 or combination thereof.

It’s such a blessing to be able to just pull delicious, homemade mashed potatoes out of the freezer. Because that time of year I’d much rather be baking and enjoying than peeling potatoes and boiling.

Red potatoes:

On the same Saturday I’m mashing, I’m also serving. Over in the slow cooker I put together our supper. Homemade potato soup for that night. Because after peeling 20 pounds of potatoes I’m not much going to relish fixing supper. So I leave the peels on these red potatoes. And I’ll sure appreciate comfort food in savory potato soup for supper. Plus, I double this recipe so it makes enough for all of us and leftovers for another meal.

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Tricia’s Potato Soup

Yield – 6-8 servings

Preparation Time – 15 minutes

Cooking Time – 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 med. onion, chopped (or equiv. frozen chopped onion)
  • 2 T margarine, melted
  • 6 med potatoes, peeled and cubed (1/2 a 5 lb bag = $1.98. For our family $3.97)
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 3 cups water
  • 5 chicken bullion cubes (I use chicken broth pulled from the freezer (free!) or one can chicken broth)
  • 3/4 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • dash garlic, pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Slow cooker: can skip cooking the celery and onion in butter.
  2. Put all but last two ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low 5-7 hrs.
  3. Mash vegetables until a smooth but a bit chunky texture.
  4. Add last two ingredients before serving.
  5. Stove top: Saute celery and onion in butter in large Dutch oven.
  6. Add next 9 ingredients.
  7. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat, mash vegetables with potato masher.
  9. Add milk and cheese.
  10. Cook, stirring, until cheese is melted.

Cost $2.50 – doubled for our family approximately $5.00

Frugal and celebratory. Cheap and filling.

Join me for an October Potatofest?

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Jackie Brown October 27, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Tricia, I do the same thing when the potatoes go on sale (2.99 for 10# in NC), but I’ve never tried the dishwasher method, heard of it though. I get out my funny face potato scrubber and my kids argue who’s doing it:) I like to cut up the cooled baked potatoes for french fries, hashbrowns, potato wedges and freeze. I make potato soup from some hollowed twice baked potatoes and freeze both the 2x potatoes and tops for cheesy skins. That’s a whole lot of potato side dishes. I make freezer mashed potatoes, too. I’ll have to try your recipe, thnx for posting!

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Tricia October 27, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Jackie – how smart to cut up the potatoes for fries, hashbrowns & wedges. That is a whole lot of potato side dishes! Love it.

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Marina October 28, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Mmmm, this soup looks good, saved it to ziplist. I’ve tried freezing potatoes but for some reason they just didn’t taste right.

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Tricia October 28, 2011 at 3:35 pm

This is our family’s favorite soup recipe going back decades! I was skeptical about the freezer potatoes myself but they have been nothing but tasty :)

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Christina November 1, 2011 at 10:55 am

How much chicken broth do you use instead of bullion cubes?

Reply

Tricia November 1, 2011 at 10:57 am

Christina – 1- 2 cups of homemade or one can of store-bought.

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Christina November 1, 2011 at 10:59 am

Awesome, thanks for the quick reply, I’m making this for dinner tonight.

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Tricia November 1, 2011 at 11:04 am

Glad to help. I just happened to be checking email :) Would love to have a bowl full of your soup. Enjoy!

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Brenda November 1, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Can you freeze this soup?

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Tricia November 1, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Now that’s a good question. I’ve never tried it myself. I always just make the soup to eat the night I make freezer mashed potatoes (well plus other times in between). I’d think with the water in it that it might not freeze well. But I honestly can’t tell you for sure since I haven’t done it myself.

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Brenda November 18, 2011 at 8:15 am

Yes, you can! I froze a portion of this soup and it turned out just fine. Making it again tonight, except this time I’m adding in some leftover broccoli. So, so good!

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Tricia November 18, 2011 at 8:17 am

Brenda! Thanks so much for experimenting – and letting us know the results! Ah… expanding the horizons of potato soup!

Reply

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