Saturday, November 15, 2008

Potato Soup

Again, I have been too busy to post! I promised it wouldn't happen, but then I got busy. Zach and I decided to get married. Because we both have no patience, it meant that I planned the wedding and we pulled it off in a week. Amazingly enough, it all went according to plan!

We also built a new veggie garden. We already have snowpea sprouts! We also planted brussels sprouts, pak choi (chinese cabbage), spinach, and lettuce. Hopefully those will sprout soon, too.

Now, on to the latest recipe! Zach made some delicious potato soup a few days ago. He modified it from a recipe that contained *gasp* bacon and other icky things. I don't have a picture yet, but I promise that there will be one soon!

Potato Soup
1 small onion (diced)
2 celery stalks (diced)
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
9 potatoes (slice or roughly chop, doesn't matter)
2 quarts veggie broth (enough to cover the potatoes, you might not use all of this)
1/4 cup margarine (Earth Balance is vegan!)
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk (soymilk works, too)
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
salt and pepper

In a large pot, saute the onion, celery, and garlic until the onion is starting to turn tender and transparent. Add the potatoes, and saute for another 5 minutes. Add enough vegetable broth to cover the potatoes. Cover, and simmer until the potatoes are very tender. This will depend on how well you diced your potatoes - smaller pieces cook faster. Ours took 40 minutes to reach the point of ultimate softness.

In a separate pan you are going to combine the margarine, flour, and milk to create a roux. If you haven't done this before, read on! Otherwise, skip to the next paragraph. A roux (pronounced roo, like kangaroo) is one of the mother sauces used in French cooking to create gravies, sauces, or act as a thickening agent. Don't let this scare you away, it is easy to make. First, melt the margarine in a frying pan over medium heat. Next, add the flour. Stir and mix and mush it together, it is going to be thick. Smush it around over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Failure to complete this step will leave things tasting a little flour-ey. Add the milk, and mix it with a whisk until the sauce comes to a boil. When it has thickened to a gravy-like consistency, you are done making the roux! Congrats on creating a mother sauce, it is a basis used in a LOT of other recipes!

Add the tarragon, salt, and pepper (to taste) to the roux, and set it aside for a moment. In the meantime, mash away at your pot of potatos with a potato masher. We like ours chunky, so we didn't do this for very long. But, by all means, go all out and smash smash smash away if you want a smooth soup.

Mix the roux and potato mush together.

Add a little more milk (or soymilk) if it seems too thick, and add more salt and pepper if it needs it. Garnish with cilantro.

This tastes really good with either breadrolls or (strangely enough) cheese quesidillas.

Enjoy!

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