I'm no Ree Drummond.
Don't know Ree? She is The Pioneer Woman, blogger, author of two best selling books, mom, cook, photographer, home schooler and all around wicked awesome ranch wife. I started reading her blog in '09 after her cookbook was published. Just this month her second book, this time an autobiography, was published.
I whipped through that sucker in the first 48 hours I had it in my hands. For anyone with two small children, you know that is quite the feet.
Saturday night was her book signing in STL. Now I know she is popular, but I had NO IDEA how crazy it would be. The signing was to start at 6pm, so I wander up at 5:30p and there is a line around the building to get in and according to the woman counting at the door I was number 480-something into the building. The final count, somewhere around 700. Multiple people I met drove in from out of town, the farthest being 6 hours, to meet her.
I finally met Ree, who complimented me on my purse, at 9:45pm. I know that makes me a little crazy. (But hopefully not as crazy as the people who drove 6 hours, right? Right?)
She couldn't have been any nicer. Honestly.
I had her sign her cookbook as well as her biography (seen above). Did you notice the bonus autograph at the top there?
That's right, Marlboro Man (Ree's husband) was there as well holding his own impromptu book signing.
Please excuse the blurry cell phone photo. MM was equally as gracious.
In honor of The Pioneer Woman and her recent STL book signing I am posting my own tasty kitchen recipe today. If you are familiar with PW and her recipes, complete with photographs, you will be disappointed. However, I am giving you the oft requested....
SPUDTACULAR POTATO SOUP RECIPE!!!!!!
1 med-large onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2-3 T Olive Oil
1 t seasoned salt (like Lawry's)
1/4 t rosemary
1 t thyme
32 oz Chicken stock
2 c milk
1 c cheddar cheese, grated
Saute the onions, celery and carrots, (sometimes known as the trinity) in olive oil. Once they are tender, but not mushy, add in the potatoes, seasoned salt, rosemary, thyme and chicken stock. If the stock doesn't cover the potatoes you can add a little water until they are just covered. Boil until potatoes are cooked through. Remove from heat. Use a potato masher and smash the soup by hand in the pot it cooked in. Once smashed, add the milk and cheese mixing constantly until the cheese is melted and combined.
How simple is that?!?!
I've made this soup a million times and there are a couple things I've learned along the way that I thought you'd want to know.
1- I wrote the recipe with Olive Oil but you can also use 3-4 tablespoons of butter. I am trying to cut down on the amount of butter in my cooking and olive oil has the better for you omega-3 fatty acids. Go fatty acids!
2- I use fresh herbs from my garden when they are in season, and from what I can tell, the thyme is ALWAYS in season. I've dug it out of the snow three or four times this winter to use. If not, dried herbs work just fine.
3- I use a potato masher to hand mash the veggies after they are cooked. The first time I made it I blended it but it had too much of a bisque consistency, but if that kind of thing gets your juices flowing by all means, blend away!
4- Recently I substituted a butternut squash for the potatoes and it was delicious. I recommend. Look at that two for the price of one soups!
So I may not be The Pioneer Woman but I promise this soup will get you through until spring... how many more weeks again?