Recipe: Rustic Potato Soup
I’m a big fan of soups and stews, and I’m a big fan of my beautiful, red Vitamix that unfortunately didn’t make it to this first leg of the move to the Big Apple.
By the way, I’m going to stop right here to add (I’m not getting paid to do this or anything, that’s how much I love that damned blender.) that the Vitamix is one thing WORTH splurging on. I know, what the heck — a $500 blender, how can anyone justify spending that much on A BLENDER. Even the least expensive ones sold on Amazon are roughly in the $300-$400 range. But trust me, once you get this, you will never go back and it will revolutionize the way you look at food and life, in general. Okay, maybe I’m taking it a bit too far, but seriously, it’s amazing. I’ve made fresh ice cream and sorbets in about five minutes. I’ve made soups from raw ingredients in ten minutes. I throw in half of a chopped onion, a clove of garlic, a couple of roughly chopped tomatoes, a couple of baby carrots, a roughly chopped celery stalk, handful of tortilla chips, and about a cup and a half of stock into the blender for ten minutes. I slow down the motor, put in a little bit of canned corn and canned black beans so that it doesn’t pulverize it but just “blends” the flavors together, and VOILA READY. SOUP. HOT, STEAMING TORTILLA SOUP. I mean, it’s not “authentic” or anything, but um, it’s super delicious and CONVENIENT!
Anyway. I’ve also made really wonderful creamy potato soup with it too, but since I don’t have it with me, I just went the ole fashion way… in a pot. As with the chili I made in the first couple of days that I relocated to NYC, I made enough that I could freeze for later. Ingredients, recipe, and tips (all with “pretty” pictures) after the jump!
3 medium carrots, diced
2 small to medium onions, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
22 fl oz. chicken stock (It’s a rough measurement. I used 2/3 of the Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock which is at 32 fl oz per carton)
1 cup water
1/3 cup of 2% milk (the only thing I had on hand to make the soup a little creamy. You’re welcome to use half and half or cream. Since these will be heavier, I would only use about 1/4 cup, unless you really want your soup creamier.)
2 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dried rosemary
salt and pepper to taste (again, I loooove ground black pepper so I use LIBERALLY)
1. Start your mise en place! Dice your veg. I like the skin on my potatoes, so instead of peeling them, I just scrubbed really really well. Same goes for the carrots because I like the “rustic” look of them even if you can’t really see how rustic they look when your soup is finished. :/ Oh well. AS LONG AS YOU KNOW.
2. In a large, heated pot, add 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, throw in your onions and stir occasionally until they are tender and translucent. This should take roughly five minutes. Then add in your carrots. You’ll want to salt and pepper at this time. Maybe like a teaspoon or two. Stir around in the pot and bask in the wonderful scent coming from the pot. That smell basically says “HELLO, I LOVE YOU.” You can also add celery at this time as well because the Holy Trinity of stocks and stews consists of onion, carrots, and celery. But I forgot to purchase celery and I don’t particularly like it as a vegetable, so it’s missing here.
3. After about two or three minutes of combining onions and carrots, put in your diced potatoes. More wonderful smells to ensue as the potatoes begin to cook. Salt and pepper at this time, another teaspoon or two. Let the onions and the carrots in this mixture caramelize. You’ll start to notice the onions start to brown and the smell is … sweeter than when you first put your ingredients in the pot. When you smell this lovely scent (should take about seven to ten minutes at a medium heat), you will….
4. Add stock and water to your pot. Stir it around a little. Add your seasonings of oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary. Stir again to incorporate seasonings. Put the lid on your pot, turn the heat to high and let it come to a boil. Stir occasionally too if you’re not using a non-stick pot, just in case anything gets stuck to the bottom.
5. After the soup has come to a boil, remove the lid and put it to a simmer. This softens the potatoes even more and you’ll want to do that. Test the potatoes with the back of a ladle or with a fork. If it gets smushed easily or the fork penetrates through the Test Subject easily, then you’ll know the potatoes are ready to rock and roll.
6. Add the 1/3 cup of 2% milk and stir. Then using the back of your slotted spoon (I do not have an immersion blender. That is on my List of Wants for the Kitchen, by the way. Otherwise, I’d be using the immersion blender.) start to mash the potatoes, either to the bottom of the pan or against the side of the pan. Great way to relieve tension as well, I suppose. Anyway, just start mashing until it becomes a smoother consistency instead of just a soup with chunks of veg in it. I like mine to have a few lumps in it though, just for texture.
7. Taste and salt and pepper if you think it needs more. Mine needed a tiny bit more after adding the milk. If you think it tastes just fine, then ladle and serve!
So the next recipe you’ll see on this blog is Shepherd’s Pie. I made it at the same time as this soup because it used a lot of the same base ingredients. That’s where the other 1/3 cup of the stock went. So until next time, happy bulk cookings!