Two Potato Soups

I love fall. I love everything about it: the crisp feel of the air, the colors on the leaves and the people, the golden sunrises that get softer as the sun moves farther away, the joy of hot beverages, and perhaps most of all… the food. Apples, kale, squashes; cinnamon and nutmeg in everything; soups, roasts, and the return of the oven.

To celebrate the arrival of fall, here are two delicious and unique potato soup recipes. Both are fairly easy, and use the same basic method, so once you’ve made one, you will know how to make the other.

A note about both these recipes: every potato soup recipe I have seen calls for a food processor, to puree the potato soup-base. I always ignore these instructions because I like some texture to my soup, but not everyone likes it that way. (Alright, confession…the ulterior motive is that I have a passion for minimizing dish-washing. Do I want to was out a food processor if I don’t have to? Hell no.) Instead of processing, I grab my potato masher and smash away at those potatoes until the soup reaches the consistency I want. And really, smash to your heart’s content – I promise you, it’s very cathartic. But if you prefer a smoother, more uniform consistency, and don’t have any feelings to vent, feel free to break out that food processor.

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Caldo Verde (Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup)

P1040930

   1 lb fresh kale
   6 medium russet potatoes, cubed
   2 cups celery, chopped
   3 medium shallots, finely chopped
   2 cloves of garlic, minced
   1 smoked ham steak, cubed (optional)
   2 bay leaves
   1 1/2 tsp black pepper
   6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
   1 tbsp olive oil

In a large pot, heat olive oil. Add shallots and garlic, and fry over medium heat until translucent. Add potatoes, ham, and celery, and cover w/ broth. Add bay leaves and pepper, and simmer on low heat for 30-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, put a pot of water on to boil, and wash kale and tear off stems into bite-size pieces. (Remember, the kale will shrink when it’s cooked, so the pieces don’t need to be that small.) Blanch the kale in the boiling water for a few minutes, until dark green and limp, then drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.

When the potatoes are tender, smash with a potato masher until soup reaches your desired consistency. If the soup is too thick, add more broth or water as desired. Add the kale and simmer on low for another 15-20 minutes. Add salt to taste, and serve.

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Pumpkin Potato Soup

   1 medium onion, finely chopped
   1 clove of garlic, minced
   2 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
   1 lb white potatoes, cubed
   6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
   1 cup cream (optional*)
   2 cups pumpkin puree (home-made or canned)**

   1 tsp ground nutmeg
   1 tsp crushed black pepper
   1 tbsp olive oil
   1 smoked sausage, sliced (optional)

* Dairy-free version: The cup of cream is completely optional in this recipe – the pumpkin puree gives the soup a creamy texture all on it’s own.  For lactose intolerance or milk allergies, or for a lighter version of the soup, cut out the cream or replace with your favorite milk substitute.

**And with that extra pumpkin puree that I know you have, make this delicious pumpkin nut bread!

In a large pot, heat olive oil. Add onion and garlic, and fry over medium heat until translucent. Add potatoes and cover w/ broth. Add sage and pepper, and simmer on low heat for 30-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, brown the sausage in a frying pan. When the potatoes are tender, turn off heat  and smash with a potato masher until soup reaches your desired consistency. Add the pumpkin puree, cream, pepper and nutmeg, and sausage, and simmer on low for another 10-15 minutes. If the soup is too thick, add more broth or water as desired. Add salt to taste, and serve.

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2 thoughts on “Two Potato Soups

  1. Pingback: Lemon-Cranberry Quinoa Tabbouleh, and Erin Gets the Green(s). | erin thinks (a lot)

  2. Pingback: Swiss Chard with Lentils and Feta | erin thinks (a lot)

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