What else can you do with mashed potatoes?
So- I chopped up half a medium Vidalia onion and sauteed it in my soup pan over medium heat. I used a mixture of a little butter, a little olive oil and a little bacon drippings. Butter- because I love the richness and texture it adds to creamy soups. Olive oil- because it has a high smoking point and I always use it for sautéing. Bacon drippings because they give great flavor and it's just what you're supposed to do when making potato soup. Period.
After the onions had been going a few minutes, I added about 2 cups of the leftover mashed potatoes and stirred them around until they were soft and heated through- probably 5 minutes or so. Then I poured in enough unsalted chicken stock to make however much soup I wanted. I know- it's so aggravating when you're reading a recipe and the person doesn't give you at least an approximate amount. But I'm telling you- when you cook in the real world, you don't always know how much to use. Get over it. Just eye ball it! It's soup for crying out loud. I used a whisk to make sure I blended everything until it was smooth. I also had a lonely leftover baked potato in my ice box, so I fished him out and chopped him into chunks and threw him in the soup. I left his skin on and everything. I though it would be nice for there to be some potato chunks in the soup along with the soft onions. I let it come to a soft boil just to heat the potato chunks all the way through. I turned the heat down to low and added about half a block of cream cheese. I know there was already cream cheese in the mashed potatoes themselves, but I've never once tasted something and thought, "Wow- there's too much cream cheese in this!" Plus, I was going for a really velvety smooth texture. I whisked some more until the cheese was melted and smooth. To finish the soup, I added about a quarter of a cup of heavy cream. At the table I added chopped chives.
The bowl in the picture also got a pretty chive, basil and oregano bloom garnish. Seriously, this was probably the best potato soup I've ever eaten. And it took about 10 minutes to make. Does dinner get any better than that? Oh yeah- I also served this with a big hunk of home made bread- slathered in butter, of course!