Potato Soup with Blue Cheese
The first time I made this potato soup I thought it came out pretty bland and ‘meh’. My curse of soup – I just can’t pull off a good, flavorful, broth-based soup to compete with anyone’s grandmother (or my standard – really good restaurant soup.) Then I added the blue cheese crumbles as instructed and it was suddenly great. I was reluctant to recommend it though since blue cheese is such a personal thing – you either love it or you hate it – that the recipe being so dependent on that single ingredient seemed like a failure.
It’s nowhere near St. Patrick’s Day like this recipe suggests it’s for, but since the weather has turned officially “icky” for the season I’ve been craving soup and I’ve been craving comfort food. Potatoes are big on my comfort food list so this weekend I found myself cooking up a big pot of soup I unfortunately can’t share with my ‘I’ll eat any cheese but blue cheese and cream cheese’ husband.
- 2 T Unsalted Butter
- 1 ea Onion (Medium, Chopped)
- 3 ea Shallots (Medium, Chopped)
- 1 ea Carrot (Small, Sliced)
- 1 ea Celery (Small, Sliced)
- 4 C Yukon Gold Potatoes (½” Dice)
- 2 C Chicken Broth (Low-Sodium)
- 1 C Water
- 1 T Fresh Thyme
- 1 ¼ C Whole Milk
- 1 T Kosher Salt
- 1 T White Pepper (Ground)
- 2 t Fresh Chives (Minced, For Garnish)
- ½ C Blue Cheese (Crumbled)
I always make mashed potatoes with Yukon Golds, leaving the skins on, so I did the same for the soup. Cut out any eyes and questionable bits, but if the potatoes are fresh the skins should be thin and clean.
I love shallots, they’re a great semi-recent discovery for me, but I hate working with them. Since the layers are so thin they ask for a precision touch when chopping which means a lot more face time than with an onion. Then since they’re often paired with onions that’s a double dose of sulfoxides. Chop the other vegetables first and you can’t back out now…
- Melt butter in a pot over medium heat. Add Onion, Shallot and 1 t Salt; sweat until translucent. Add Celery and Carrot and continue to cook until the vegetables have softened slightly approximately 5 minutes.
Are my vegetables sweaty?
- Add Chicken Broth, Water and Potatoes to pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer; Cover and cook until potatoes are tender about 20 minutes.
- In a sauce pan bring the Milk to a simmer with the Thyme. Let steep about 10 minutes.
Since I was using dried thyme instead of fresh (1 tbsp) and because I forgot to time it properly and start the milk while the potatoes were cooking, I just simmered the dried thyme in the milk until it was heated.
- When Potatoes are tender, remove soup from heat add milk mixture and season with Salt, White Pepper.
Before the milk was added. The thyme-milk came out looking like a sickly cup of hot chocolate in the making.
- Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with Chives and Blue Cheese.
Since it came out so well I’m going to admit that I had to use 2% milk instead of whole. I tasted it before the blue cheese and I think even then it tasted better than last time, but it could be that I knew better than to expect it to be finished without its garnish.
It could be that I used chicken broth in a can (left over from my pre-test day of no solid food) instead of… whatever kind I used last time.
Or it could just be that practice really does make perfect… but I’m using chicken broth from a can from now on.