Monday, November 10, 2008

Cream of Potato and Rosemary Soup

Fall is definitely in the air today! The wind has acquired a more biting edge, and it seems as if the ground has more leaf cover than the trees do. This is soup weather!

Potato soup is lovely, inexpensive, and a wonderful canvas for experimenting with flavors and textures. In this version, I've used rosemary, a piney and aromatic herb that is a superb companion to the potato. If you like, you can replace rosemary with something else ~ chives? Thyme? Cilantro? See what you're in the mood for. If you like bacon, read through the recipe notes for a flavoring suggestion that utilizes the salty smokiness of bacon to enliven this soup.

I have kept this simple to spotlight the flavor of the rosemary, but feel free to garnish with whatever makes you happy ~ a bit of grated Jarlsburg cheese might be nice!

Cream of Potato and Rosemary Soup

  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice

  • 3 stalks celery, diced

  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into small dice

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 4 cups chicken stock, plus additional if needed, divided

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups milk

  • Kosher salt and black or white pepper to taste

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried

  1. In a large saucepot, combine potatoes, celery, onion, garlic, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium and simmer until all vegetables are very tender and potatoes are breaking down, about 10 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepot. When it starts to sizzle, stir in flour to make a roux. Cook the roux for a minute or two, stirring every few seconds so it doesn't brown. Pour in milk all at once while stirring. Continue to heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or whisk, until milk mixture is thick and bubbly.

  3. Using an immersion blender, carefully process the potato-vegetable mixture in the pot until mixture is smooth. Stir in rosemary.

  4. Pour thickened milk mixture into potato mixture, stirring until completely incorporated. If mixture is very thick, add additional stock till desired consistency is reached. Taste for seasonings and add salt and pepper to adjust.


Makes 8 servings.




Recipe Notes:


  • Although milk is called for in this recipe, you can use half-and-half if you want a creamier, richer texture. If you want to slim this down, use skim milk. Pureeing the potatoes give this soup a lot of body, so skim milk works fine.

  • If you don't have an immersion blender, let the potato-broth mixture cool slightly and process in batches in a blender or food processor.

  • Add a smoky, salty note to this soup by replacing the butter with bacon drippings. Panfry 8 slices of bacon till crisp. Remove bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Drain and discard all but 3 tablespoons of bacon drippings and add those 3 tablespoons to a saucepan. (If your bacon is very lean and you come up short on the drippings, just add a little butter or olive oil to make up the difference.) Proceed from there.

  • The amount of broth you will end up adding depends on how starchy your potatoes are and how thin or thick you like your soup.

  • Be sure to taste your soup before adding salt ~ some stock is fairly salty and you may not require additional salt at all.

  • You can make this a vegetarian soup but replacing the chicken stock with vegetable stock.

  • If you would like some texture in your soup, reserve a cup of the potato-broth mixture before pureeing the rest. Add it back to the pot along with the thickened milk.
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5 comments:

  1. What a wonderful soup! Your picture looks wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. i love rosemary, sounds like a perfect pair.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This looks wonderful! And the sprig of rosemary adds such a nice visual touch.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Looks good... I'm liking the Jarlsberg cheese idea.. It'll go even better with the bread!

    ReplyDelete
  5. this is my favorite soup in the universe!

    ReplyDelete

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