Soups, filling and hearty, are always Chef Aaron Egan’s go-to during this season.
With the fluctuating weather and the turning of the year, we once again find ourselves huddling in the kitchen for warmth, taking advantage of a hot stove to keep our bodies and our houses braced against the encroaching chill of winter.
Soups, filling and hearty, are always my go-to during this season. Served with crusty bread, they’re a good dish on their own, and they always are able to slide into another meal as an extra course, providing more warmth and nutrition for your diners.
Potato soups are a personal favorite, as I am a lover of potatoes in all forms; here, I’m looking to capture the onion-garlic-potato deliciousness of a latke, while also making it somewhere on the continuum toward Potato-Leek soup.
Yield – approximately 1 gallon of soup, or 6-12 servings, depending on size
- 1-quart russet/baker potatoes, peeled and small diced (hold in cold water to prevent browning)
- 1 cup yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- Oil as needed
- 2 quarts vegetable stock (minimally green, see note)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Kosher salt
- Ground white pepper
- Chives for garnish
- Shoestring potato fries for garnish
- Mise en place! Dice your potatoes and onion, mince the garlic and open the containers of stock. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and melt the butter; add a little neutral cooking oil to the pot as well to help prevent burning.
- Once the butter has foamed and melted, add the onions, season with a good pinch of salt and cook over medium-high to high heat until they’re just beginning to brown. Add more oil as needed to keep them frying.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, mixing frequently, until the garlic is wildly fragrant.
- Pour in the stock, stir well and then add the diced potatoes. Discard the water they were soaking in but save that potato starch and mix it into the soup pot as well.
- Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes crush easily with a pair of tongs or when pressed against the side of the pot with a spoon.
- Remove the pot from the stove and puree the soup with an immersion blender. Once pureed, slowly pour in the heavy cream while running the immersion blender, stirring it around a little to fully incorporate the cream. Taste and adjust seasonings here with salt and white pepper. In addition, if it’s too thick, add some liquid; if it feels too thin, let it simmer on the stove gently, stirring frequently, to help thicken it up a bit.
- Return to the stove and hold warm or chill for later use. Soups like this are frequently better the next day.
- Garnish with chives, shoestring potatoes and a dollop of sour cream if you like.
Vary up this recipe in your preferred manner: Replace up to half of the heavy cream with sour cream or add one or two peeled and diced apples into the soup pot with the potatoes to add a touch of applesauce to the bowl.
Note: Vegetable stock can be made from almost any veggies and as such, if you’ve made yourself a batch with a bunch of green beans or greenery in it, you might not want to use that for this dish as the flavors don’t necessarily work that well together.