Monday, March 5, 2012

Recipe - Creamy Garlic Potato Soup - Version #2

This post had been started well over 2 months ago and all that I wrote is very much in the past now. So much in the past that it originally mentioned about how I had gotten an unexpected call while out trying to do some grocery shopping from my 'new employer' which I was hired at on the *VERY* last day of 2011. That was about 3days into being told 'your hours might not start until March sometime when business hours are longer and we get busier'. Well needless to say I've put in more hours in the last couple of months then I think any one expected and I've been LOVING it!

The only real things I regret is that I haven't been here nearly as much as I want or need to be and that I don't/haven't been cooking properly or as often. I hope to change that a bit. There have been signs in the air of spring coming from hearing my wonderful birds chirping around 5am in the morning on the nice days to the other afternoon having a wonderful snooze next to my husband in the middle of the afternoon, waking to being comfortably warm and then a bit later hearing the wonderfully familiar sound of the local ice cream truck coming out of hibernation. Ok weird signs to some people... most look for the first sign of blooms on the trees or the familiar 'I saw my first robin today!' type thing but for me the above tell me that it's going to be spring soon and I can't WAIT! I miss my spring/summer fruits and veggies and well I'll admit it, the prices that come with them.

Today has taken my spring feeling away though. Although it's not bad temperature wise, it has been raining pretty heavy since I'd say about 5am. It sounded wonderful though, so wonderful that I slept until almost 10:30am which is very rare for me lately!

With the weather what it is today lets get onto the soup.... now this soup is another version of my Creamy Garlic Potato Soup Version #1. I don't have end results as I'm sure from the link above you can get the idea from it, there are 2 differences to this one though and that is it has no chunks of potatoes (although you can just as well do that too if you wanted it!) and it uses elephant garlic cloves instead of cheating with garlic puree.

 4 to 6 large starchy potatoes, skinned and cut into small chunks
 4 cups water (give or take a bit, this isn't rocket science)
 2 chicken broth cubes
 2 tbs olive oil
 1 small onion, finely chopped
 2 cloves elephant garlic or 5 cloves regular garlic, roughly chopped
 1 cup light/low fat milk
 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
 plenty of fresh cracked pepper


As said this is not rocket science, make sure your potatoes are cut into about 1/2inch pieces. Boil them in plain water until really soft. Strain and set aside.

In the pan that you just boiled the potatoes, take some paper towels to it and dry it a bit. Put it back on the burner and add about 2tbs olive oil. Add onion and garlic and saute until translucent and soft.

Add the milk and add water until you have your pot about 2/3rd full. I'm using a 3 quart/litre pot for this. Add the 2 chicken broth cubes and bring to a light boil... basically hot enough to melt the cubes. Add the reserved potatoes to the pot CAREFULLY! The potatoes will make the liquid splash. To prevent this, spoon the potatoes in and I do mean actually spoon them in. Take an over sized spoon like one you would serve with, grab a good spoonful of potatoes and dip the spoon with the potatoes into the mixture. I learned the hard way that trying to just dump the potatoes in at this stage just hurts as the mixture is very hot by now and the milk is even hotter.

Add potatoes but remember to leave a bit of room so that you can puree without over flowing your pot and enough room to add the cheddar cheese while still being able to stir. Once the potatoes have regained their heat which won't take too long, remove from heat and simply take a stick blender (or if you don't have one, use a normal blender and do the mixture half at a time) to it until there are no potato chunks left.

Return to a very low heat, add the cheddar cheese and pepper (add pepper to taste but I would suggest quite a bit since your trying to bring the pepper taste out over the garlic, potatoes and milk which all mellow out pepper taste quite a bit). Use a spoon to stir the cheese in until well melted.

Serve in mugs. This is a perfect grab a cup, sit on the couch with your favourite blanket and your book or TV and just sip away. And there you go. A nice rich, creamy, garlic potatoes soup that takes not a whole lot longer then it takes to boil the potatoes themselves while saving you from all the crap that pre-made soups have in them.

I'll get ending photos of this one when I make it again, which I don't think will be too far away if this weather keeps up!

Tip - My first photo shows a dish of sour cream. You can add a couple tbs at the end after melting the cheddar in for a bit richer texture/taste.

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