Sunday, January 4, 2009

99 pounds of spuds on the wall...

Over the holidays, I planned a couple of potatorific meals--a large quantity of mashed potatoes to accompany my husband's fried chicken birthday dinner and a shepherd's pie on a different night. However, I never got around to the shepherd's pie as I decided to cut back on time consuming recipes.

Unfortunately, I had done something that I never do.....I bought the 15 lb. bag of Yukon Gold potatoes at Costco. Wow, 15 lbs. is a lot of potatoes, especially when you don't make a shepherd's pie.

In an effort to use what I've already got, we looked up some potato recipes. I've got so many great cookbooks now that it's pretty easy to find at least one good recipe revolving around a single ingredient. I was all set to make latkes until my husband changed our course.

Yukon Gold Potato Soup.

Honestly, I wasn't all that excited to begin with. I don't consider myself a huge potato soup fan. But I decided to give it a shot.

From first glance, I noticed there was quite of bit of vegetable dicing. This may not make your heart flutter, but then again, you probably didn't get a proverbial samurai sword for Christmas. I, on the other hand, was just so lucky this year. And I've been relishing all opportunities to hone my knife skills. Vegetable dice are prime practice!


4 TB olive oil, divided
1 shallot or small onion, peeled and finely diced
2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
4 - 4 1/2 c vegetable stock (I used Rapunzel brand veg bouillon cubes), heated to a boil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 c cream, optional
Salt and pepper

For the garnish:

1/2 c vegetable stock
3 potatoes (can be a combo of Yukon and purple for color if desired), 1/2 inch dice
2 TB butter
snipped chives

Heat 2 TB of oil in a Dutch oven (another wonderful Christmas gift this year!) or heavy casserole dish. Add the onions and sprinkle with some salt. Sweat the onions until they are opaque. Remove the onions to another dish.

Heat remaining 2 TB of oil in the pot. Add dice of the 2 Yukon Gold potatoes. Turn up the heat and sear the potatoes until they are caramelized and golden. Add the onions back into the pot along with the garlic. Pour in the boiling stock, reserving 1/2 c vegetable stock for the garnish. Cook until the potatoes are soft. Add the cream if desired. Blend the mixture with an immersion blender or pass through a fine strainer.

Boil the remaining 1/2 c of vegetable stock. Add the remaining dice of 3 potatoes and boil on high, add the butter, and reduce the stock down into an emulsion that coats the potatoes.

Ladle the pureed soup into a bowl, add in some potato garnish, and top with chives. We also added toasted chunks of a crusty bread.

This is winter comfort food at its silky, seasoned greatest! 98 pounds of spuds on the wall, 98 pounds of spuds....


Scott at Real Epicurean said...

I can't say I've ever contemplated using potato as a key ingredient in a soup, but I guess you need really good, tasty potatoes...

Maria said...

Shepherd's Pie is one of my favorites--made it a couple of months ago and now that you've reminded me of it, I should make it again soon.
The soup sounds great. I am a big soup fan and I think I'd love a bowl of your potato soup right about now ... even if it is only 9:30 in the morning.

Gretchen said...

MMM. Potato soup, so good! We like bacon and cheese on top, too, of course.
And I LOVE chopping vegetables.

julie jams said...

Ooo, bacon, good idea!

Chef E said...

Love this blog, one reason why I have so many posts at once is because I do the same thing, I buy a hundred pounds of a veggie and then cook five different meals for my PC clients and us!

I use potatoes in a lot of recipes, they are so hearty!

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