A few days ago, my sister-in-law dropped off about 10 lbs of potatoes (from her 100 lbs) at my door. I was eager to accept the free food but soon realized that my one son, who absolutely refuses to enjoy even one bite of a potato in any form except fried little sticks, would probably be hitting up his friends for invitations to dinner to avoid having to eat a potato. So I knew I had a real a challengeto deal with, but not one I was going to back down from. I needed to find a way to use 10 lbs of potatoes before they go bad AND so my son would enjoy them. Obviously one task was going to be easier than the other.
The first step was deciding how to have potatoes for dinner. That is never too hard when I turn to the internet and browse around until I find something that sounds good. This time I landed on a potato soup recipe which sounded fabulous (to me) but in the back of my mind the voice kept saying, “Mom, you know I don’t like (we don’t use the word hate but I know he’d want to use it here) potatoes!” So the bigger challenge now was to find a way to hide the fact he was eating potatoes.
Coming up with a recipe isn’t difficult but passing it off to the critics is daunting. I had to be sure to get all my ingredients together and in the pot before anyone saw what was going in. If one critic saw a potato near the stove, it was over! Working quickly I sauteed, boiled, mashed and blended in record time. Lucky for me the added carrots gave the soup enough color that it wasn’t distinguishable as any kind of soup they would recognize.
As we all know, the mere mention of vegetables can either excite a child or send them into the ugly cry (depending on the day, right mom’s?). This day was a good one in our house. When I mentioned dinner was a vegetable soup, I didn’t get the myriad of questions regarding “which vegetables”. Nope! Instead, I got a few uncertain stares and one brave child who dug in and quickly said “MMMmmmm, that’s good mom!” Eureka! The sign the rest of them were all waiting for (and she didn’t even fall over dead).
I think it is safe to say, this one is a hit…and yes, I did tell Keaton he was eating potatoes. After choking on his spoon, he looked up with big, fearful eyes and said, “What?!”
I love it when a plan comes together. 🙂
(I don’t have a picture of the soup because I was so anxious to see if the critics would like it or not that I forgot to have a picture moment.)
Herb Potato Soup
8 small potatoes, diced (4 large russets)
2 carrots, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 celery, diced
2 cups warm milk
6 cups vegetable stock
2 cups potato water
½ teaspoon crushed rosemary
½ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon parsley
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ cup parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a large pot add diced potatoes and enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil then cook until the potatoes are soft. Drain, reserving 2 cups of cooking liquid, and mash with potato masher. Set aside.
Dice the carrots, onions and celery. Heat a pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. Add diced vegetables to the pan and cook, stirring often, until they start to get caramel color on them. Be careful not to burn the vegetables. Now add 3 cups of vegetable stock to your pan and bring it all to a medium simmer. Let it simmer until vegetables are soft and liquid cooks out. If you need to add more stock because the vegetables are not soft yet, do so and continue to cook.
When the vegetables are soft, add them along with any liquid that remains to the mashed potatoes. Add 2 cups of warm milk and combine. Add the remainder of vegetable stock to the pot and use an immersion blender to blend ingredients together into a smooth soup (you can use a blender for this step but be careful with the hot liquid). Now add 2 cups of reserved potato water. The soup should be smooth but not really thick. Add enough liquid to make it the consistency you like.
Add herbs, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. Heat until warm and serve.
You can serve with a garnish of shaved parmesan cheese, fresh herbs or herbed croutons. I used small herbed croutons to add crunch.