Friday, November 21, 2008

Excellent Potato (and Spinach) Soup

This is now my favorite soup. It's easy and cheap to make, takes about an hour, and doesn't need exotic ingredients which would require extra shopping. Like just about all of my favorite recipes, it doesn't require many utensils, so clean-up isn't a big deal. As given, this is a vegetarian dish. Use this recipe as a base if you want, adding whatever's in the fridge that your creativity thinks would rock. Here's all you really need.

  • 4 hefty potatoes
  • 1 bodacious onion
  • 1 can of condensed milk (12 fluid ounces = 354 ml)... regular whole milk will work also.
  • (Optional, but worth it) handful of spinach per serving. Savoy spinach, the older kind with dark green, crinkly and curly leaves, is much preferred.
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (or half this amount of minced fresh garlic)
  • quarter teaspoon of finely minced fresh ginger
  • sprinkle of oregano
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon finely crumbled feta (or other) cheese per serving (optional)

Peel and dice potatoes. Start them at boiling in a two-quart or larger saucepan with enough water to cover them. The potatoes will need to boil about twenty-five minutes. They'll get to boiling faster if you put a lid on the saucepan. While they're getting there, add salt, pepper, oregano, ginger, and garlic. When they start boiling, turn down the heat to a medium boil so crap doesn't spit all over the stove. When boiling starts, set your cooking timer for twenty-five minutes.

While waiting for the boil to start, dice that big onion. Add it to the potatoes. They probably aren't boiling yet. That's fine.

Stir and taste occasionally to adjust the salt and pepper and other spices. When the timer goes off, turn down the heat to a low simmer, add in the butter, and mash the potatoes by hand with a potato masher for minute or so. It's fine to leave them a little chunky. Add the can of condensed milk. Stir it in and jack up the heat so it comes to a medium boil again. Keep stirring so nothing burns on the bottom. Milk tends to do that. Get the soup back up to a boil and keep it there for a minute or two, constantly stirring the bottom. Toss in a big handful of spinach if you've got it, stir it in and let it boil for another half-minute— just until the spinach is overcooked and looking spooky. Turn off the heat. Ladle into bowls that aren't so large, unless this will be your entire meal. Sprinkle on just a little bit of feta or whatever fragrant cheese you might have. A couple croutons would be dandy.

Warms four to six bellies.

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