Well, I can officially say I survived my first experience with hosting Thanksgiving dinner.
I floated the idea a little over a week out from the big day to my mother-in-law, not wanting to step on her toes but also knowing she’s been extremely busy at work lately and could likely use a break from cooking all day—especially with family coming from out of state to stay with them.
And she took me up on my offer, which meant I took a deep breath, made an overly detailed list, and got to work.
The meal was a little late, since I wasn’t very good at timing out my side dishes on my first attempt, but everyone walked away full and seemingly happy, and it’s already been announced that the Young Family Thanksgiving meal is mine for the foreseeable future.
And while hosting is definitely an exhausting experience, it does have its benefits, namely: leftovers. While that’s arguably one of the best parts of Thanksgiving, it also gets tough to get creative with eating the same meal again and again over the next week, so I have an option for you if you, like I, had plenty of leftover mashed potatoes.
This is from the website “Thrifty Fun.” You can find the original post at https://www.thriftyfun.com/Leftover-Mashed-Potato-Soup-1.html. I added more seasoning to my version, but remember to take the amount of seasoning you did to your mashed potatoes originally into account when adding spices. I normally season my potatoes pretty simply with salt, pepper, milk and butter only. The amount of each of the ingredients depends on how much leftover mashed potatoes you have, but your rule of thumb is to add the amounts listed in the directions for evert two cups of potatoes. In my case, I had four cups leftover, so I doubled all those amounts as I made my batch of soup.
Leftover Mashed Potato Soup
- Mashed potatoes
- Milk I used skim
- Chicken broth or vegetable stock
- Butter or margarine
- Celery salt
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Salt and pepper
- Shredded cheese
- Cooked crumbled bacon
- You will add the following ingredients to every two cups of mashed potatoes you have—do so in a large cooking pot—1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup broth, 4 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon celery salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, salt and pepper to taste.
- Place the mixture over medium heat, stirring regularly, until the soup is hot and creamy.
- Serve with shredded cheese and crumbled bacon on top. (Cook up about a strip of bacon per bowl of soup you’re serving.)
This was a great belly warmer for a cold day’s dinner, especially paired with some leftover Thanksgiving cornbread.
And, ironically, if you have leftover soup, it reheats nicely, too, which is a nice bonus.
I’ll probably be making another batch of this soup in the coming weeks, since I, for some reason, made enough potatoes to feed the family four times over.
Cooking for Thanksgiving made me extremely thankful for all of the wonderful cooks who have provided that same spread for me over the years. It’s a lot of work, but seeing family enjoying themselves around the table makes the sore back and aching feet seem worth it.
This piece first appeared in print on Dec. 5, 2019.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.