|Hot Potato Soup
Serves 6-8 as an elegant first course or 3-4 as a main dish.
1 onion, chopped
1.5-cups celery, leek whites and artichoke hearts
- in any combination
1 clove garlic
1 TBS minced fresh ginger
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS butter
3 potatoes, skinned and chopped
.5 tsp lemon zest
pinch of cayenne and nutmeg
3 cups low sodium chicken stock
2.5 cups milk
pinches of salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
Sweat onion (saute with a lid on) with a pinch of salt in 1 TBS olive oil. When soft, add celery, leeks, artichoke hearts, garlic and ginger along with second TBS olive oil and a pinch of salt. When soft add potatoes and butter and pinches of salt, sweating until potatoes start to soften.
Add lemon zest, pinches of cayenne and nutmeg, 2 cups of stock and 2 cups of milk. Simmer covered until potatoes are very soft.
Carefully puree in batches using a blender (note: hot liquids can react violently in a blender, start by gently pulsing small batches). Return to pan and thin with as much remaining milk and stock needed to obtain the thickness desired. Bring to a simmer and season to taste with salt, white pepper, nutmeg. Serve in hot bowls.
Optional 1: Add herbs such as dill, tarragon, thyme or sage along with the stock. Optional 2: Serve topped with chunks of crab or lobster meat and a pat of butter. Optional 3: Top with a hearty pinch of cheddar, fried bacon bits and a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche.
-Chef Mick Rosacci, Tony's Market