Melt the butter in large kettle, or in fireproof casserole in which the soup can be served. Grate the clean potatoes into it. (I like to leave them unpeeled, but the soup is not so pretty unless chopped fresh herbs, added at the last, change its natural whiteness enough to hide the bits of brown skin ...) Grate the peeled onions into it... or slice them very thin. Heat the mixture to bubble-point, stirring well. Then reduce the heat, and cover closely for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender but not mushy, shaking the pot now and then to prevent sticking. Add more butter (or chicken-fat) if it seems wise. Heat the milk to the boiling point but not beyond, add slowly to the pot, season, and serve. Variations of this recipe are obvious. One of my father’s favorites is the last-minute addition of a cup or so of cooked minced clams. A half-pound of grated fresh mushrooms, added to the vegetables just before pouring in the hot milk, is fine. And so on and so on.]
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