Spinach and Garlic Potato Soup

 

I am a soup person. I can eat it for lunch, dinner, before dinner, as a snack, or just because I’m cold and not in the mood for hot cocoa or tea. While my favorite is the type that simmers for a couple of hours and fills the house with a delectable aroma, every once in a while I get a craving for the sinfully delicious, calorie-laden, throw-everything-you-can-think-of-in-it potato soup.

I like my potato soups a variety of different ways — hence my accordion file stuffed to overflowing with recipes that I haven’t even had the chance to try yet. I found that many of the recipes use dairy products to help thicken and enrich the flavor. Many of the soups are dairy, in addition to having their fair share of calories, but you can always substitute a lower-calorie nondairy product like almond, soy, or rice milk or margarine when the recipe calls for milk, cream, half-and-half, or butter if your preference is for real chicken broth instead of vegetable broth, the pareve stuff, or water. Vegetarians in the crowd can substitute vegetable broth and the veggie fake “meat” in any of the recipes that call for meat, but be aware, many of the “faux meats” actually have dairy ingredients or are made on dairy equipment.

Note: I like Yukon Gold potatoes best for soup; they add the creamiest texture to every dish.

Spinach and Garlic Potato Soup

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 2 medium leeks, sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (you can use pareve chicken broth)
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1 cup packed fresh baby spinach
  • Croutons, optional

Directions:

  1. In a soup pot, heat the oil and then add the potatoes, leeks, carrots, and garlic. Stir while cooking for 3–4 minutes.
  2. Add the broth and bring the mixture to a boil, then cover the pot and reduce the temperature to a simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in the cream, then add the spinach. Mix to combine. Cook for an additional 2–3 minutes, making sure not to overcook the spinach. Great with croutons as a topping.

Hot Pot Potato Pepper Soup

Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Heat alert! This soup is a little spicy. For less fire, add just a dash of the red pepper

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed (2¼ cups)
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • ¼ cup oil, margarine, or butter
  • 1 small green sweet pepper, chopped
  • 1 small red sweet pepper, chopped
  • 1 small yellow sweet pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ –¼ teaspoon ground red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups milk

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the potatoes and broth. Bring the mixture to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the butter or margarine in a skillet.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the oil and sauté the green pepper, red pepper, yellow pepper, and onion until tender but still crunchy — don’t let them brown. Add the flour, salt, black pepper, and ground red pepper and mix constantly to combine and coat.
  4. Add the milk, mix to combine, and cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Add this mixture to the undrained potatoes. Mix to combine. Cook for an additional 4–5 minutes until hot throughout and serve.

Modified from a Better Homes and Gardens recipe.

Scalloped Onion and Potato Soup

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 3 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 2 potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups vegetable or faux-beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups heavy cream or nondairy substitute
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 4 English muffins, cut in half and toasted
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan and grated Swiss cheeses, mixed together

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a large casserole or pot. Add the onions, sugar, and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, until brown and caramelized, about 15–20 minutes.
  2. Add the potatoes, broth, and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, 40–45 minutes (test with a fork, you don’t want them to overcook and fall apart).
  3. Add the cream and mix to combine. Cook for an additional 2–3 minutes for everything to get hot, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Set out 8 bowls. In the bottom of each bowl, place one of the English muffin halves; divide the cheese between the bowls and sprinkle it on top of the muffin. Gently ladle the soup into the bowl and serve. (Making it this way eliminates the need to have to put the soup in the oven to melt the cheese.)

 

© Eileen Goltz

Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher foods writer. She graduated from Indiana University and the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris. She lectures on various food-related topics across the U.S. and Canada and writes columns for the CJN in Chicago and the OU Shabbat Shalom website. She also wrote the Perfectly Pareve Cookbook (Feldheim).

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