1. Peel a potato and cut it into chunks. Put it in a small saucepan with enough water to cover it. Turn heat on high and add a bit of salt and black peppper, plus one or two of the following:
1/2 cup cut-up cooked chicken or turkey or pork
1/2 cup chopped celery and onion
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup diced fresh carrots
1/2 cup diced fresh (not cooked) fish: crab or halibut or snapper or calamari or scallops
2. Simmer on low till the spuds are tender and almost mushy. Take off heat and let cool a couple minutes. 3. Put 1/2 cup water or white wine or soy milk in a blender. Turn it on, and add the cooked ingredients slowly, using more liquid if necessary. You want a fairly thick consistency, like pudding almost, but not so thick that it won't go around in the blender. You're pretty much making flavored potato mush here. 4. Scrape this out with a spatula into a bowl. Add one of the following if you want to:
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
2 tbsp. fresh chopped green onion
2 tbsp. fresh minced red onion
1 tsp. dry mustard or 2 tsp. dijon or brown mustard
1/4 cup chopped artichoke hearts
1/3 cup chopped water chestnuts
5. Stir well, add salt and pepper to taste if you want to. 6. You can use this for soup (heat it back up and add meat and/or vegetables or not, plus more liquid), or you can measure out 1-1/2 cups of it and call it a can of "cream-of-whatever" not-campbells-soup in a recipe.
The easy way to remember this recipe without looking for the recipe is "boil a potato and run it through the blender with some flavoring" .... if it's pretty thick, 1.5 cups equals a can of cream-of-whatever.