This recipe was born of an accidental mix up of a legendary family recipe (I mixed it up because it was my husband’s family and I did not know better), but the mix up was so delightful that we have never done it right since! Here is the basic concept – chicken soup (with or without noodles), served right on top of a pile of smashed potatoes. Besides being delicious (first you’re just eating soup, then it gradually starts turning into more of a potato soup, then you are eating potatoes with a fabulous chicken gravy… you get the point), it is also exceedingly practical. This makes it possible to have chicken soup as a man’s man meal. Unless I am greatly mistaken about the nature of hearty foods for serious eaters, I don’t think that chicken soup was formerly allowed into that category! Anyway, this is a simple and successful way to feed people. It is pretty too, and with a baguette and maybe salad on the side, it makes for great comfort- company food. Â Try this out, and I’ll bet you that the children eat more than you knew they could!Â For the Soup: One chicken, with the gross bits inside carefully removed with your eyes closed. One large or two small onions, most of a head of celery, most of a bag of carrots.In a large stockpot, place your cleaned chicken and fill with water. Put it on the stove and let it boil until the chicken is cooked through and tender (test a leg to see how loose the joints are – you want it to be falling apart a bit). While the chicken is cooking, chop up your veggies to desired size. I do mine pretty small right now because of the babies, but otherwise I do the carrots in rounds.Remove the chicken to a bowl and set aside. Strain the broth through cheesecloth or paper towels, or a clean tea towel if you are desperate. I wash out the pot and put the broth right back in. Return to a boil. Dump in all your prepped veggies (put in chopped parsley if you have some fresh). Let simmer until the veggies are tender, or as long as you want to. If you want noodles, throw them in now.AddÂ chicken which you have shredded or cut (for the babies- cut, without babies – shred). Season with salt and pepper and let simmer until dinner. Add water if it cooks down too much. I cook rice in the leftovers and freeze it for baby food. (It’s the best baby food you ever tasted!)For the potatoes:Â 2 lbs. red potatoes (skin on); 4 oz. cream cheese; 4 Tbs. butter.Boil potatoes whole until tender when poked with a fork. When they are almost done, put cream cheese and butter in a saucepan to soften/melt. Drain the potatoes, reserving some of the water, then put them back into the pot. Let the skins dry, then dump in the cream cheese/butter mixture, along with 1/4 c. or so of the reserved potato water. Using a wooden spoon, smash them, stir them, adding a little more water if you need it until they are nice. Season with salt and pepper. Scoop a whollop of these onto the bottom of each bowl and ladle your soup on top.