Monday, December 7, 2009

Potato Soup - Blue Monday





From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...It's difficult to glamorize potatoes. It's much easier to sing their praises. The nutritionally dense potato is a near perfect food. Conquistadors, returning from Peru, brought the potato to Europe, where it's value as a food crop was quickly recognized. It was less expensive to grow than grain or legumes and it was much easier to store. The potato spread as rapidly through the new world as it had through Europe. According to the USDA "a diet of whole milk and potatoes would supply almost all of the food elements necessary for the maintenance of the human body." Prior to the potato famine, a single acre of potatoes and the milk of one cow was enough to feed a large Irish family, a boring, but nutritionally adequate diet. Today's soup is a perfect example of what can be done with the inexpensive potato. For the next several days we will be experiencing unseasonably cold weather in the Pacific Northwest. To my mind, there is no better way to fight the chill than a bowl of steaming soup. This is one of those recipes that I throw into my "of cabbages and kings" category. At it's heart, this is great peasant fare, but with a bit of tweaking it becomes a vichyssoise worthy of a Bourbon prince. I have a 10# bag of russet potatoes in my pantry. I paid $1.29 for that bounty. I use approximately 1-1/2 pounds of potatoes in this recipe. Salt, pepper, some onions or leeks and a bit of butter and heavy cream complete the ingredient list for this soup. I can make a nice lunch or light supper for six people for under three dollars. You can't go wrong, unless you hate potatoes. Anything you fancy can be added to the soup base. Think along the lines of bacon and cheddar cheese and you can see where this simple recipe might take you. Here's the base for an absolutely delicious soup.




Potato Soup
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter
1-1/2 pounds (about 3 cups) thinly sliced leeks, onions or a combination thereof
1-1/2 pounds (about 4 cups) thinly sliced potatoes
2 quarts water
1 scant tablespoon Kosher salt (see Cook's Note)
1/2 cup heavy cream, half-and-half or whole milk
3 tablespoons minced chives or parsley

Directions:
1) Heat butter or oil in a 4 to 5-quart saucepan until hot. Add onions and simmer, until onions are soft, about 10 minutes.
2) Add potatoes, water and salt to pan. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 40 to 50 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender. Mash vegetables with a fork or pass through a food mill. A blender will turn this to paste, so don't be tempted. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Add whatever else your heart desires and serve this screaming, steaming hot with crusty bread and a salad. Yield: 6 servings.

Cook's note:
1) If you want to make vichyssoise, pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and chill. You will need to adjust salt before serving.
2) While there is no other seasoning used in this soup, some find it has too much salt. If you are watching your salt intake, add salt, a teaspoon at a time, to taste. I will continue to use the amount specified in the recipe.

This post is being linked to:
Smiling Sally - Blue Monday

73 comments:

MonsterMama said...

Oh Mary you just made my day! We were out to dinner last night and my son tried to order potato soup-they were out. I promised to make him some- this looks perfect. I will let you know how it goes. Thanks!

Selba said...

Looking the picture of snow on the road, really makes me so miss the winter :)

Potato soup sounds so good to warm up the body :)

CC said...

Hi Mary..
It's cold in Texas right now..and potato soup is my favorite soup. A sure fire cure all for the common cold..I am definately going to try your recipe. It sounds delicious. Yummmmmmmm. Thank you for the recipe and happy Blue Monday.

Chef E said...

How right you are...

Vickie's Michigan Garden (my backyard) said...

I love potato soup and your picture is just beautiful.
vickie

Joops said...

The glowing blue on the snow is amazing.

Blue Monday in Detroit

Susan said...

Beautiful potato soup. Mary, this is the true basis of our ancestors in Europe. Every European country made potato soup, one way or another. I don't think we, as Americans, realize how the potato sustained so many.

Martha said...

Potato Soup -- the peasant food fit for Kings! It is one of my favorites and one of my favorite memories of my grandmother -- her potato soup!

SmilingSally said...

Mmm, you're right, Mary, nothing much can beat a warm bowl of potato soup on a cold day.

Your link was off by one letter, but I've fixed it for you. Folks should be able to find you now. Happy Blue Monday.

Hootin' Anni said...

I grew up on potato soup. I think 'tis the Irish in me. I never got tired of it. Mom and I always used scallions,........but your recipe calling for leeks would be a nice twist in flavor. Hmmmm.

Love your snowy blue monday too.....tho, I only like snow in pictures these days.

Haden News said...

This soup looks like the perfect comfort food for me!! I love the way you tell a story with each post, makes your recipes very special. Stay warm and enjoy the season.

Karen said...

Potato soup is one of my favorite soups! I am definitely going to try this recipe. I always enjoy not only your recipes but your history along with them!

Happy Blue Monday!

Marsha's Mpressions said...

What a beautiful, but brrrry scene and then you take us to that yummy soup to warm us up! Clever!

Erica said...

Hi Mary......

I love Potato Soup and yours looks so inviting.
Love the snow scene but not the shovelling part. Today we are expecting some flakes, actually the first of the season. So....this means I have to dig my boots out of the basement. :-(

Happy Blue Monday!

chubskulit said...

What a beautiful view with snow blue.

My Blue Monday

Knitty said...

As usual, this sounds delicious!

Happy Blue Monday!

George Gaston said...

Mary, whoever plowed that beautiful drive would definitely love a bowl of your delicious potato soup. Your soup reminds me when I was young showing horse during late Fall & early winter in Aiken, SC. The concession stand was run by a sweet lady, Mrs. McMurtry, who made the best potato soup ~ always steaming hot. I sipped it like a hot cup of coco to stay warm while braving the outdoor elements.

Many thanks for the memory and this wounder soup recipe.

Joycee said...

Simple but so good! We had a Potato Soup Sunday night supper, yum! Of all the things that I make, this one dish always makes my husband weak in the knees, he had 3 bowls! haha
joy c. at grannymountain

gengen said...

Pretty looking one. Happy blue Monday.

Foley said...

Potato soup has become a fav of mine over the years! After being forced to try it one night!
I like the look of the different flavors you have going on with your recipe!

And as always - really like your history behind your posts!!

food with style said...

i know this is about food, but i love both pics, so perfect together!

Lea Ann said...

Your snow is beautiful, your blue plates are beautiful and that potato soup looks beautiful. I'm making a different version of potato soup tomorrow and will probably post it. Here in Denver we only have about 6 inches with another 8 - 12 expected tonight. LOVE snow.

Mountain Thyme said...

This is amazing, Mary. Guess what I am making for lunch? Leek and potato soup...the recipe is in my low fat/low cholesterol cookbook.

It is about 5 below zero here again today so I thought it would be a great warmer-upper. Yesterday's soup was red lentle soup with a splash of heat. Yum!

I better stop eating so much, especially when I am stuck inside because of the cold and ice. But, what else are you going to do besides sew, knit, read a book, and EAT!?

claudie said...

Hello Dear Mary
It's been a long break for me. Yes I had so much fun being with my dear friend, and having my 3 kids together was also very special.
We just received our first sprinkle of snow this morning. It's picture perfect. Looks like you have a little more than us, which is unusual for this time of year... for us that is.
Your soup looks very yummy, but I must say the blue plate just popped out!.
Happy Blue Monday Mary
Love Claudie from Canada
xoxoxoxo

storyteller said...

Sounds delicious and hearty too in that cold wintry weather you've shared! It's finally drizzling here in Southern California so it's a soup day here too ;-)

This week I've shared blue Southern California skies at Sacred Ruminations.
Hugs and blessings,

Claudia said...

How beautiful are your blues! Love this soup - one of the best recipes ever - hot or cold.

Charli and me said...

Mary this sounds so good! I think I'll make some this week. I usually make mine a little different in that I use chicken stock and also had one carrot but I'm going to try yours. Yummy ♥ I hope you are having a nice week.

A Year on the Grill said...

lol.. getting cold here too... 15 degrees and dropping.

But I am out on my smoker as we speak! Have to check every few hours... maybe a good bowl of soup on teh stove is a good idea!

And, as to price... what a deal! Oy Vey

And thanks for the advice yesterday

heartnsoulcooking said...

What a WONDERFUL!!! combination, potatoes and leeks and i love your BEAUTIFUL!!! bowl.
Geri

Pam said...

I love potato soup - simple and delicious.

Your meatball sub down below looks amazing too.

daylily777 said...

Beautiful Blue-hued Snow Pic!
I just printed out the great soup recipe ,I think I'll have this for supper tonight with sandwiches .
Happy blue Monday !
~Myrna

Penny said...

My Mother was known for her potato soup. With the advent of cooking on TV and food magazines, we seem to have forgotten the simple dishes that sustained us when we were young.

Diann said...

I love potato soup. It is one of my favorite ways to use up leftover mashed potatoes.

I hope you ae having a wonderful day!

Marice said...

great photos! and thanks for sharin that wonderful recipe :)

Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut said...

The ratio of onions to potatoes here sounds heavenly.

I wish I could get 10# of russets for $1.29! Ours run an average of $2.99 for just 5#, so even when they have a buy one, get one offer, I still can't get close to your price.

Karen said...

I haven't seen a lovlier photo of potato soup! We've been eating a lot of soup and I made potato soup a few weeks ago. It just hits the spot when it's cold outside!

LV said...

My, I wish I had a bowl of that soup. It is my very favorite kind. When we were young kids and got sick, our mother always made us potato soup. I am sure it was not a cure, but thought it did.

Luna said...

Looking the picture of snow on the road, really makes me so miss the winter :)
Thanks for visiting my blog!!!
Hughs...Luna

Maria said...

Gorgeous bowl. I need this to keep me warm

peggy gatto said...

Yum, I think I can do this, Thanks!!!

Jean Stockdale said...

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a note.

Love your snow picture and the bowl of soup. So charming.

Blessings.

Candy said...

One of my favorites! Great for a foggy, soggy day.
Thanks for coming by and for your faithful visits. I have been in a bit of a blog freeze, but I bet a bowl of your soup-of-the-day would do wonders.
Happy Monday Blessings ;-)

Baking Monster said...

Yum! we may be getting snow here and in my lifetime it has only snowed here once so we are gonna need some soup were not use to it.btw I love the bowl it's in.

Kathy said...

Hi Mary, love the snow photo, snow is covering Mount Diablo as we speak. Yikes!. love your potato soup recipe, just what is needed here right now, we also love to make Irish Colcannon, yummy, Kathy.

Alessandra said...

Ciao Mary,

I just wanted to ask you...how many of you are there in the kitchen of One Perfect Bite?

I love leek and potato soup, I have nice leeks in the garden :-)

Mary said...

Alessandra, I'm the only person in the kitchen unless my daughters are visiting. I joke that One Perfect Bite is my last child.

The Blonde Duck said...

Can I have this with Sunday's meatball sub?

ARLENE said...

Leeks! darn! I meant to buy some today. I have a big ole' bag of potatoes and this soup sounds perfect.

Cathy said...

What a beautiful soup bowl, Mary. Potato soup is one of my favorites and yours sounds especially good during all this cold weather we're having.

Debbie said...

Mary you always have such wonderful surprises with each of your posts. I hope you have a book deal in the works...you should! Can I be one of those people who gets to comment about all of your wonderfully delicious recipes???? Pretty please:) Thanks for stopping by.

sherri@lavenderfields said...

I love potato soup and on a cold windy day here in Vancouver nothing would taste better! Thanks for the great idea! Hope you had a great Blue Monday and have an awesome week! Sherri : )

Debbie said...

If you have any duck suggestions, I would love to have them. Thanks so much.

Baba's Special Babies said...

Hi Mary, thanks for your visit to my place today.I am thrilled to see a recipe for potato soup.My husband loves it and I have never tried to make him any of this soup..I am going to try your recipe and surprise him..

Lori said...

I love potato soup. These is something so comforting about potato soup.

Joy said...

Yum, I just love potato soup. Especially this time of the year.

Mary said...

Debbie...try this link http://www.wildblueberries.com/recipes/duck.php It's a great recipe.

Shy said...

That's a lot of snow you have there Ms. Mary. Your potato soup is so perfect for the cold weather.

Mary said...

Shy, the snow was from an adventure we had while living on the East coast many years ago. We are very, very cold here, but have no snow as yet. I just love the blue hue on the snow in the picture and thought it would be great to use on Blue Monday.

Carly said...

I love potato soup it is the perfect comfort food for snowy days. Love your Blue Monday landscape.

mythoughtsmyvoice said...

Hello Mary,

Potato soup mmmmmmmmmmm I need that right now. It's so awful being sick.You really don't feel yourself. ANd with the cold days, you just want to curl up in bed and eat warm soup.

On a lighter note, I liked your Christmas memory too. It's nice decorating the tree. I feel like eventhough I may not have lots of Christmas decor at home, just as long as I have tree then it's all perfect :-) And how cute is the practice of your family where every child gets to participate in the decorating :-)I think it is just a picture perfect moment.

Mizpah,
Li

Deborah said...

I feel myself wanting to make this tomorrow. It sounds delicious and I have a lot of potatoes left over from Thanksgiving and want to use them up before they go bad. Thank you for stopping by.

ivoryspring said...

You are making me hungry, Mary. Our weather here today is the perfect weather for Potato soup!

Debinhawaii said...

I think potato soup is one of my favorite things ever--simple but so good!

Gina said...

Love the first picture! It just doesn't feel like winter here in Southern Italy with 60 degree temps and no snow!

Mary said...

Grant, I'm sorry that you had problems with 1 tablespoon salt. It is not an error. I hope you noticed that the recipe calls for a scant tablespoon of Kosher salt. There is a difference in the strength of Kosher and regular table salt. I will add a cook's note to the recipe regarding the amount of salt used here. Mary

Maria Berg said...

Well they soon have to make a move with you as well - I loved the move Julie and Julia and today when it was my birthday my husband made Beuf bourgonjong (sorry do not know how to spell it).

It is winter over there now and snow I can see and then it is so lovely to have some soup and yes potatoes are very good - I love them baked in the oven in thin slices too.

/MB

Irene said...

Woow! It's long past dinnertime here in Norway, but now I would like something more too eat :o)

Katy ~ said...

Now I knew there was a reason I loved potatoes, it's nearly the perfect food. All right. I'm buying more potatoes!! Soup looks excellent!

free online adventure games said...

You're so right, Mary. We don't usually think much about the humble potato but it can actually be such rich food, fit for a king. This would be great soup on a cold snowy (rainy where I live) day.

Alessandra said...

Mary, I am very impressed, you must have tons of energy! and if this is your last child, you should be very proud too! :-)

My Little Space said...

Love the photos! Looks like in the mood of Christmas... And the soup looks yummy, perfect for the winter.

lk (Healthy Delicious) said...

nice! I practically been living off potato soup this month. I liek to add lots of roasted garlic to mine

Sandi said...

I'm 250 miles or so up I-5 and I remember that whole month as being the worst of my 57 years here. This soup sounds lovely (a few cloudy days and I'm in winter mode already). Thinking I'll add some spicy chicken sausage, kale + corn bread and call it a hearty supper.

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