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Creamy Cheesy Potato Soup

This was my daughter's favorite soup growing up, requested more often than mac n cheese! It's the first one emptied out at soup fundraisers, too. I make mine with skins on potatoes, and prefer Yukon Golds but you can use any potato, skinned or unskinned.

Serves 4-6

Chop up 1 1/2 cups onions and mince 1 large garlic clove. In a dutch oven or large soup pot, melt 2 T butter and saute the onions and garlic until translucent. Meanwhile, chop 2 large potatoes, skins on, and 1 large carrot, skin on. Add to the pot and saute 10 min longer. Add 3 C vegetable stock and 1 t dried dill. Simmer until the potatoes are tender.

With an immersion blender, or food processor in batches, puree the veggies, adding 4 oz cream cheese and 1 C milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently reheat, then stir in 1 c grated sharp cheddar cheese.

Be sure to make enough so everyone can have seconds, especially adults, who sometimes think potato soup should be a watery pale broth with bland vegetable chunks, and forget that it is divine when creamy and cheesy!



Beef Kaldereta Recipe

This is the best beef stew I make, and it is a healthier than traditional American or Belgium beef stews, as coconut milk is the thickener. I've tweaked it from a  Philopino recipe. It takes time to prepare but your house will smell like comfort food cooking for hours as it simmers. Enjoy!


1 T butter plus 1 T olive oil

2 lb beef stew meat, cut into small 1/2" chunks

6-8 garlic cloves, minced

2 onions, chopped

1 t salt

1 t black pepper

2 bay leaves

2 t fish sauce

1 c beef broth

1 can coconut milk, divided in half

4 medium red potatoes, small cubed

2 carrots, sliced

2 sweet red banana peppers

1 chili pepper, chopped

3 T ketchup or tomato sauce

4 T peanut butter

1 t red chili flakes

Sear beef in olive oil and butter in a skillet in batches; set aside.

Saute garlic and onions 2 minutes. Transfer everything to a dutch oven or heavy soup pot. Add salt, pepper, fish sauce, bay leaves, beef broth, and 1/2 can coconut milk. Bring to boil, then lower heat, cover, and simmer for 2 hours.

You aren't done yet! Now fry the potatoes and carrots in oil in another frying pan until potatoes are softened. Add the banana and chili peppers. Set aside until stew has simmered the entire 2 hours, then add fry pan contents to the dutch oven stew meat, adding the rest of the coconut milk, peanut butter, and ketchup. Simmer until everything has blended.

Serve over steaming bowls of jasmine rice and enjoy the compliments!