Carbs are the enemy! Which is probably one of the reasons they’re so darn good. I was a low carber for several years, and in all this time there was only one thing I truly missed and craved; potatoes. Simple potatoes -in all their glory- are my one and only real carb addiction, in whatever way they’re prepared. They’re also one of my favorite things to cook because of their versatility and endless possibilities.
Another fancy sounding recipe made easy. ‘Potage Parmentier‘ is simply French for potato and leek soup. Il est très simple, non? Not to mention the soup has a myriad of variations so you just can’t go wrong. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have my own version. I simply omit the cream – you’ll see that pureeing the soup provides enough creaminess. I actually don’t even consider adding empty calories to it because I feel it spoils a pure and healthy soup. Feel free to add it, but also give it a try without cream sometime! I garnish the soup with garlic croutons and crispy bacon. It adds a fantastic flavor and bite.
What a hot bath was to Sylvia Plath, that’s what good potato soup is to me – a cure to many ails. Not to mention it’s the ultimate comfort food.
1 pound potatoes
1 medium onion
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken broth
1/s tsp salt
1 tbsp butter
2 slices bread
1 to 2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp oil
Optional: dried or fresh herbs
Here’s your soup! Traditionally Potage Parmentier is all about potatoes and leeks. Now I really like leeks, but moderation is key with me. They just take over the entire dish so quickly when you use too much. So in stead of merely leeks, I use a medium onion and just one leek. If you want to go authentic, ditch the onion and use 3 cups chopped leeks in stead.
Peel the potatoes and chop the vegetables. You can use the light green part of the leek as well, just steer clear from the dark green. It won’t look pretty floating around a pristine white soup!
Sautee the onion in the butter until slightly translucent.
Add the leek, cook for a few more minutes and add the potatoes as well. Pour in the milk and broth. You can use low fat milk if you like. Now chicken broth is not officially a part of this recipe, but I think it enriches it. Add 1/2 tsp salt (you can add more later) and bring the soup to a boil. Cook over low to medium heat for about 20 minutes.
Pour 2 tbsp mild olive oil into a bowl.
Grate the garlic and add to the oil. You can also do this with roasted garlic, I just forgot to thaw some! Shame on me. I’ve added 1/4 tsp dried sage, you can simply omit this step or throw in whatever herb you like. I prefer to use dried herbs but am sure this works with fresh herbs as well.
Cut up two slices of bread - it works best with slightly stale bread. Officially you’re supposed to trim the crusts, but I just can’t be bothered with that. I’m not running a restaurant, so they don’t have to be perfect. Imperfection is even better in my book! Cut the bread into small cubes.
Transfer the bread cubes to a bowl, add the garlic oil, a little salt and pepper and toss around with your hands. No, don’t use a fork, live a little. Getting your hands dirty is therapeutic and cleanses your soul, didn’t you know that?
You have a choice now! Yes, you do. You can prepare your croutons in the oven -bake them for roughly 10 minutes at 400 (200C) – or you can use a good old fashioned skillet for them. I’m going for the skillet. As far as Tefal hot spots are old-fashioned, that is. They’re handy, though. Cook them over low heat until golden brown.
Now it’s time for the bacon. I use one slice per person. Everyone has their own unique way to cook bacon – for me it works best to start out with a cold skillet. Cook over medium heat until crispy and brown. Remove to a paper towel to drain.
The soup will be done by now, so let’s move on to my favorite part. The blitzing. Doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you turn this …
… into this. You want to end up with a beautifully off-white, creamy and smooth soup.
Taste the soup and chances are it’s gonna need another pinch of salt and it’s definitely gonna need a good pinch of pepper. I use white pepper. Pour the soup in a bowl, top with a few garlic croutons, crumble the bacon over it and garnish with parsley. I always splurge and serve this with Grissini bread sticks that are made with 100% extra virgin olive oil. Decadency is not always a bad thing, mind you! They’re just so tasty. Serve the rest of the croutons in a seperate bowl.
I just love how something so simple can look so sophisticated and taste so fantastic.