i fought a potato peeler, and it won

My mom turned 62 last week, and I helped cook and clean for her ‘I’m getting Social Security!’ party. Yes, she had one. Clearly the craziness runs in the family. But anyway, she decided to go with a fall food theme, and called it her Soup-ty Second Birthday Party. Cute. Ominous. It meant, of course, that soups were on the menu. I was told on the morning of party day that I was the cook.

I don’t have anything against cooking. In fact, if you peruse my blog history, you will find many examples of (fabulous) cooking adventures. What I object to is cooking en masse. In this case, I was supposed to quadruple two separate soup recipes – one a family favorite called Chalupa, and the other something called Dutch Cheese and Potato Soup. I started the chalupa just fine, but by the time it came to peeling potatoes, I was feeling rather aggressive. Those potato skins felt it, let me tell you!

At least until I decided to take out a chunk of my thumb with the potato peeler, that is. Yep. It can happen to even the best of us, and I wasn’t doing a very good job and watching what I was doing anyway. Pain. Blood! What to do, what to do?! I was bleeding on the potato skins and swearing to myself (quietly, as swearing is strictly verboten in my parent’s house). I yelled to Peter to get a bandage and retired to the sink to wash out the cut and apply pressure.“PEEEEEETER!!!”

He couldn’t find any band-aids. Honest to goodness. I grabbed a paper towel, wadded it up as best I could, and went in search myself. Aha! They were hiding…in a white plastic box labeled, appropriately enough, Band-Aids. Huh. I uttered more not nice words under my breath and then proceeded to smother the offending thumb in bandages. I was ready to go back to battle! Err…the kitchen!

The potato soup did end up fairly well (and my-blood-free), so I thought I’d post the recipe here. It’s from Anna Thomas’ The Vegetarian Epicure, Book Two - perfect for fall eating and a great vegetarian staple, so enjoy!

Dutch Cheese and Potato Soup


5 to 6 russet potatoes

5 tablespoons butter

2 large yellow onions

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dill seeds, crushed in a mortar (I used dill leaves, as we had no seeds)

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk

6 ounces Gouda cheese, grated

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


fresh-ground black pepper


Peel the potatoes and cut them into small cubes. Boil them in just enough lightly salted water to cover until they are tender. Do not discard the cooking water.

Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large, deep skillet or pot. Cut the onions in half crosswise and slice them thinly. Sauté the sliced onions in the melted butter along with the bay leaves, stirring often, until the onions just start to turn golden. Add the crushed dill seeds and stir a minute more, then add the cooked potatoes along with their water.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a heavy-bottomed skillet, stir in 2 tablespoons flour, and cook a minute or two over low heat. In a separate saucepan heat the milk, and then stir it into the roux. Stir constantly with a whisk until the sauce has thickened and is completely smooth. Add it to the soup.

Bit by bit, add the grated cheese, stirring slowly all the while. Then add the paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Keep the soup barely simmering on a low flame, stirring often, for about 15 minutes more. Serve hot.

Serves 6.


vvb32 reads said...

Most excellent. Love cheese. Will do this one this week. Thanks.

Mrs. B. said...

That looks interesting. Cheese soup! Hmmm, I must try this!

Rebecca, The Clothes Horse said...

Oooh, stay away from those pesky potato peelers! They're out for blood!

She said...

Mmm, sounds delicious. At least there wasn't any lemon in the recipe, that wouldn't have been fun for your cut!

Robin said...

The soup looks absolutely wonderful! Thanks for the recipe...I'm going to try it! Sorry your took a divet out of your thumb, though. Ouch!

Sara said...

While I sympathize, I don't feel that bad for you... as I've worked in catering for 5 years and have cleaned more potatoes than you'll see in your lifetime. Even if you live to be 200. lol But seriously, potatoes suck - especially when they leave your hands stained black and icky. The soup looks great though... I'll have to try out this recipe.

MoziEsmé said...

That looks yummy!

Peaceful Reader said...

This sounds delicious!! Sorry about your thumb!

Ryan G said...

Sounds yummy. Sorry about your thumb. I did something like that once. I was shaving ham on a deli slicer, wasn't paying attention until I put my pinky through it.

kiirstin said...

*nods solemnly* Yes, beware the potato peeler. I believe they have a secret agenda, and will pounce when the human race least expects it. I always use mine warily, when I have to use it at all. We eat a lot of skins.

That recipe looks delicious, though! Cheese and potatoes are a classy combination, and I'm thinking I'll try that.

Happy birthday to your mom!

theduckthief said...

I feel for you on the kitchen accidents. My own personal nemesis is the paring knife. They lie in wait, plotting in the drawer, waiting for me to make dinner and then, they strike!

brizmus said...

Oh no! i hope your thumb is okay. I know potato peelers can be evil things.
Thanks for posting the recipe - I might have to try it with some new vegan cheese I just found.

carolsnotebook said...

My hubby and daughter do most of the chopping and peeling at our house. It's just too dangerous for me.

Maria said...

This recipe looks great, I think I'll try it.


Jenn M. said...

lol...I've lost a few battles with the potato peeler too!

I left you some love at my blog.


owl and peacock : melina said...

Yum! But ouch! This post gave me heebie jeebies!
Also, I finished Soulless; I did like it, but had a little bit of a problem with the redundant mentioning of Italian heritage and Spinster-like tendencies on every other page - mildly annoying. And the author stole a few passages from Forster's A Room With a View (which I've got almost memorized, and thus noticed). But besides THAT, it was a very interesting read, and sort of popped my cherry to steampunk! ;)

Sadako said...

Looks yummy. Love your name--Amelia Bedelia fan, I take it?

Liz said...

Looks delicious. Any calorie count?

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

This looks amazing. Thank you!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

I'm printing this right now.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Update: I made this over Christmas and my in laws LOVED it :D

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