LOCAL FLAVOR: Cheese Potato Soup from Sheila Tolson and Gerri Winters

Carla Core Brown

Throughout the ages, recipes have been created, gathered, and shared. It’s what we do! It’s not uncommon to find an interesting recipe, try it, and afterwards “tweak” it to make it more palatable for you and your family. (Who hasn’t gone down that recipe path?)

Therefore, in my culinary world, it is the TWEAK that grants the OWNERSHIP. Most cooks will universally agree, recipes are fair game. It is not a crime to kipe a recipe in the kitchen.

In fact, Sheila Tolson shared her mom had taken a soup recipe, tweaked it and came up with, GRANDMA GERRI’S CHEESE POTATO SOUP. Sheila added broccoli to her mom’s soup and now it’s Sheila’s Cheese Potato Soup! (See how that works!)

Sheila noted that while her mother, Gerri Winters, was a “decent cook,” she was better known for her baking skills. She was “the BAKER” in the family and her family holiday assignment was to always bring the dessert. Sadly, Sheila said she didn’t inherit her mom’s baking skills BUT she did inherit this soup recipe and is happy she did! Several have asked Sheila for her recipe on SOUP SUNDAY, so now it can be yours. According to Sheila, “It’s just really good comfort food.”

Sheila and Grandma Gerri’s Cheese Potato Soup

3 cups cubed potatoes

1 cup water

½ cup celery slices

½ cup carrot slices

½ cup broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)

¼ cup chopped onion

1 tsp. parsley flakes

½ tsp. salt

Dash of pepper

1 chicken bouillon cube

1 and ½ cups milk or half and half

2 Tbsp. flour

½ pound Velveeta cheese, cubed

Combine potatoes, water, celery, carrots, broccoli, onion, parsley flakes, seasonings, and bouillon cube. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. In a separate container, gradually add milk to flour stirring until well blended. Add milk mixture to the vegetables. Cook until thickened. Add Velveeta cheese. Stir until melted. (Yield: Four 1 and ¼ cup servings.) **Now, how’s that for a little LOCAL FLAVOR?