Sunday, January 29, 2012

Winter Warm-up Favorite! Potato Soup with Caramelized Vegetables

I know it sounds stereotypical to associate soup with only the winter months, but there are many good reasons why people continue to do it.  There is just no other meal quite as comforting when you are cold, or that make us feel better when we are under the weather.

Potato Soup with Caramelized Vegetables has been a standard "go to" in our family for several years.  The recipe was originally published in 2004 in the December issue of Bon Appetit Magazine, which featured an article on Montreal in the Winter.  The recipe is from La Gargote, on the Place d'Youville, in Old Montreal - one of the city's oldest squares.  The article states that the soup is a "warm-up masterpiece".  It certainly is.

A few notes:  We always double the recipe.  The directions say it serves 8, but we have found it normally only serves 4.  Leftovers heat up wonderfully!   In addition, the key to the soup's tasty success depends on how well you caramelizing the vegetables.  So make sure you take the time to caramelize them well - until they look almost burned.  Don't just saute them.  We also use an immersion blender instead of a regular blender, which is much easier.

This is a very healthy soup. It is low-fat.  No broth is added or milk or cream and it does not contain cheese. It is vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and very hardy.  Can't beat that!  enjoy!

Saute carrots, leeks, celery and onions

Cook until vegetables are caramelized

Soup before the puree

Potato Soup With Caramelized Vegetables

6 tablespoons vegetable oil (we use olive oil)
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only)
2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1 12-ounce russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
6 cups of water
1 teaspoon salt

Heat oil in heavy large pot over high heat.  Add onions, leeks, celery and carrots; saute until most vegetables are very deep brown, about 20 or 30 minutes.  Add potato, 6 cups of water, and 1 tsp. salt and bring to boil.  Reduce heat medium; cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Working in batches, puree the soup in blender until creamy.  Strain back into the pot.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Bring soup to simmer.  Ladle into bowls and serve.

Another Buddy Fergurson approved recipe!

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