My mother shared her secret with me. She adds instant potatoes to her soups instead of corn starch or flour. Works great with Cream of Broccoli and Potato. I never knew why hers tasted better than mine! She also cooks up a batch of regular instant potatoes and then adds one or two potatoes with the skin for a nice "smashed" dish. Microwave makes the potatoes in a hurry.
Instant mashed potato flakes also work well to thicken stews, gravies, chowders and casseroles that are too "soupy". Just adjust the seasoning if needed.
I've been adding instant potatoes to my homemade soups (especially potato, corn chowder & stews) for years. I've always used this trick for soups that already have potatoes as part of their main ingredients, but, now that I think about it, I'm wondering if instant potatoes would also be a good way to thicken up store bought soups?
* I never told anybody about adding the instant potatoes before because it seems that most people have an aversion to boxed potatoes, but, you are right... as long as no one knows the soup has "boxed" potatoes in it, they all seem to like these soups just fine & come back for seconds!
Along with adding instant mashed potato flakes to thicken potato soup, I also add one can of cream of onion soup and a can of cream of chicken soup. I also add to the water after potatoes start to boil a couple tablespoons of a chicken soup base. It doesn't make the soup taste like chicken soup, but gives the soup a wonderful flavor and you don't have to add any salt. I also use Carnation milk, real butter, and three or four shakes of Mrs. Dash original.
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