I have had quite a thing for potatoes lately. I watched the movie "Food, Inc." a few weeks ago (still shuddering) and I'm trying to fit in more meatless meals in my cooking repertoire. Potatoes help a lot, if you're a carnivore and green veggies don't always cut it. So far, this is the best thing I've made, & man is it good:
Easy Potato Soup
1 large potato per person
2 stalks celery
2-4 slices bacon
1/4-1/2 stick butter; I used a 1/2 stick
Milk--whole, 2%, skim--whatever's on hand
salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder
1) Peel the potatoes (or not--your choice), cut into medium size chunks & put them in a pot; add just enough milk to cover them & begin cooking on med. heat
2) Chop celery (incl. leaves) and shallots--relatively uniform pieces are best since they'll cook evenly--you want them really soft
3) Dice bacon & saute for 1-2 min.; add butter and stir until butter is completely melted
4) Add shallots & celery; saute for about 3-4 minutes longer
5) Dump all the bacony, buttery goodness into the pot with your potatoes; at this point you may want to add more milk--it's really dependent on the consistency you like best
6) Season with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, & whatever else blows your skirt up
7) Cover & cook 25 min.--about 1/2 way through, take a potato masher and do some mashing--leave some chunks, though, unless you want it to turn into mashed potatoes. Which is fine, 'cause they're pretty darn good, too.
8) Revel in the fact that this meal is delicious & CHEAP--two of the best adjectives in the world!