Friday is here at last! This week I cooked the Leek & Potato Soup for my French Fridays with Dorie post. In my family, we have a treasured Potato Soup recipe (see below), which we make on Christmas Eve (along with a big pot of chili). I think the tradition started with my mom and grandma as something relatively easy to make and it will stay warm on the stove for relatives to drop by whenever they like on Christmas Eve. My siblings and I have kept this tradition alive.
Last year, although a bit scared to do so, I actually made a couple of changes to the soup, just to liven things up a bit. I added leeks and goat cheese. The additions were a bit hit (especially the goat cheese)! I was relieved, since messing with Christmas "taste" memories is a real no no. You know what I mean. All year long you've dreamt of that first bite of Christmas fudge, or a special holiday cookie, or a bite of Potato Soup and you want that bite to taste exactly the same way it has always tasted. Many of us get stuck in a rut because of this and our holiday dishes never improve, they just stay the same, year after year. So, knowing this...I wondered if Dorie's recipe would be good enough to bump our traditional Christmas Eve Potato Soup.
|All the ingredients, except the garlic...where did the garlic go?|
Dorie's recipe is different from my family's recipe in a couple of ways. The ingredients are slightly different (for instance, Dorie's recipe calls for leeks, mine doesn't, which is probably why her recipe is called leek and potato soup and mine is called potato soup!).
And the way you cook the ingredients is different. Mainly, in Dorie's recipe, after sauteing the onions and garlic, you add all the other ingredients, including the milk and cook until everything is tender. In my recipe, there's no sauteing, you just cook the main ingredients in water, then add cream and spices at the end. With Dorie's recipe, you can use water or stock and milk or water. I decided in order to get the richest soup possible that I would use stock and milk.
|Ready to simmer!|
The prep for the soup was super easy (pun intended!). When the soup is finished, you can puree it until smooth or leave it chunky. You can also serve it hot or cold. I decided to leave it chunky and serve it hot. I followed Dorie's suggestion and made giant croutons to sit on top of the soup. I also cooked thick cut bacon and chopped it up and served that on the side as a garnishment (my boys are okay eating a vegetarian meal, but they prefer a little meat/bacon with everything they eat). (If you are wondering where the pictures of the soup with the bacon on top are, the bacon got gobbled up in the soup before I could get a picture of it!)
When I made the croutons, I sauteed the bread slices in the bacon fat and then added a bit of parmesan on top. Can I just say...these croutons were DELICIOUS!
What's the verdict?
St. James said Dorie's soup is better and should replace our family recipe (although he only eats chili on Christmas Eve, so I'm not sure his vote should count). Ethan thoroughly enjoyed the new recipe (as did our guests). I think I'd add a little cream and a little butter to "fatten" it up a bit. I do love the fresh herbs that gently simmer into the broth as the soup cooks. I think I'll ask my sisters if they are okay trying this new version for the holiday. Although, I won't be surprised if they say no.
For a simple, yet delicious soup, try my grandma's recipe. She should would get a kick out of knowing that I am sharing her recipes across the internet world!
Grandma's Potato Soup
(grandma's note in margin "good!!")
4 cups cubed potatoes
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup chopped onions
2 cups water
2 tsp salt
Simmer 20 mins, mash once or twice. Then stir in the following ingredients and heat through.
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
3 Tbs butter
1 Tbs parsley
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 tsp pepper
Wondering what everyone else made this week at FFwD? Check them all out here. Tune in next week for my go-to beef daube.