Quick Potato Soup with Sickroom Mealtime Tips

Everyone has a sick person to take care of at some time – even if it’s themselves. This is a quick, digestible little recipe that only takes 15 or 20 minutes to prepare. It’s great for a sudden hunger pang or when you have less time to make a meal. It’s very adjustable, and you can accommodate just about anyone’s taste. It doesn’t seem very substantial, but it’s more filling than you would think. It is, after all, basically a baked potato with butter and milk.

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The stage of potato-soup making before the butter and milk

Quick Potato Soup

  1. Chop up about a heaping teaspoon of celery and put in a small pan to boil.
  2. Rinse and put holes in a potato and put it in the microwave to cook.
  3. When the potato is done, chop in chunks and remove the skin.
  4. Drain the water off the celery and add the potato pieces to the celery in the pan.
  5. Add salt if the patient’s diet will allow it. A tiny dash of paprika or pepper makes it look more appealing.
  6. Add skim milk to the desired consistency if the patient’s tummy is acting up, whole milk if not.
  7. Add a little butter.
  8. Place back on the stove and heat until warm. Don’t get it so hot the person could burn themselves.
  9. Pour up and garnish with a small celery leaf.

Canned Pet or Carnation milk can be added to thicken, and a dollop of cream can add a richer taste if tolerated.
Celery salt can be used for patients who have swallowing problems.

Tips for serving sick folks:

♥ Keep a sturdy pastel plastic bowl on hand in case of falls and drops. If it has a little texture rather than being slick, it will be easier for them to hold. Pale pink is a color most sick people can tolerate, as is light lemon yellow.  Some people immediately lose their appetite at the sight of hot pink, muddy or dark colors, or any but the lightest, most cheerful shade of green.
♥ Supply several cheerful pastel paper napkins. They are cheaper than paper towels – I know; I crunched the numbers.
♥ Place a little circle of non-slip shelf liner under the bowl to help keep things steady. These can be tossed when soiled as you get so many out of one roll.
♥ Be sensitive to whether they will accept a towel draped over their chest and lap. Some people feel foolish and that they are being treated like a baby. Others welcome the relief from fear of drips and spills. It may be better to change a nightie than hurt someone’s feelings and make them feel worse.
♥ Serve on a tray with a rim that will prevent little mishaps from rolling onto the floor or bed.
♥ Serve everything with a happy face and suggest you sit and talk if they would like. This is a sneaky but good way to be sure you are on hand in case of accidents or choking. Keep the conversation light and sweet.
♥ When the meal is over, bring a warm, damp, white cloth to touch up face and hands. Some people prefer baby wipes because they feel cooling, but some may contain ingredients that could be irritating. White face cloths or hand towels can be bleached or boiled to remove germs, and you can add your own gentle cleanser. If the patient prefers something cool, just keep the cloth in the refrigerator during the meal.

A small disclaimer: these are things I learned while caring for my own family during serious illnesses. I am not a nurse or a doctor, so keep that in mind. My great grandmother took over for the town doctor when he was out of town or busy, and that love and patience for the sick was passed down through everyone in the family. Your doctor,  your own good horse sense, and your love for the patient are the best guidance.

©Jill Teresa Farmer 2016


2 thoughts on “Quick Potato Soup with Sickroom Mealtime Tips

  1. Perfect timing for a new dish. My fingerling potatoes are almost ready to get dug–and I won’t wait to get sick to make this. Fingerlings are so small and pretty tender to begin with, so they won’t have to be microwaved. I might suggest adding a bit of chopped lovage which also just happens to be in the garden right now. Thanks for the recipe!


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