keito potato

Rosemary Potato Soup
May 22, 2010, 9:51 pm
Filed under: recipes, soups | Tags: , , , , ,

It’s been 3 full years since a rattlesnake’s skin was found in my front yard rosemary, but I’m still cautious about fetching the herbs. The rosemary bush has grown over a stone wall, and apparently the rattlesnake squeezed between 2 stones to shimmy out of its skin. To this day I still approach the rosemary bush with a yardstick and massive kitchen scissors. The nice thing about rattlesnakes is that they warn you by rattling — as long as they sense you approaching are not caught off-guard. So I stomp around awhile as I approach the rosemary, and pause to listen for a soft rattle. Maybe I’m going overboard, but rattlesnakes are not pals.

That said, a recipe featuring rosemary has to really put me over the edge before I’m willing to venture out into my front yard desert habitat. I felt this recipe was worth it, a rosemary potato soup made with a simple garlic broth.

I’m falling in love with Bryant Terry’s new cookbook Vegan Soul Kitchen, a healthy and passionate “remix” of southern classics. If you’re familiar with how I cook, you would understand that I can’t help be swept away with a cookbook that is healthful, ethical, and sustainable, while also being sensual, vibrant, and sexy. He wants to push African American cuisine into a more “creative, cutting-edge, and refreshing” direction. I’m smitten.

This soup looks like a traditional rich cream soup, but is completely vegan (no butter, no cream, no cheese). I think it actually has more flavor because it is built on aromatics instead of dairy. I’m not a vegan, but I love pureed vegan soups that are rich and smooth, having fluffy pureed vegetables camouflaging as dairy.

This soup starts with a garlic broth, the easiest one I’ve discovered: just garlic, water and salt. After simmering an hour it has a soft gentle aroma, and perfumes the whole house.

Yukon Gold potatoes are the potatoes of choice here. If you haven’t used this variety yet, the flesh is a rich butter yellow color, and they make fantastic mashed potatoes. If you can’t find them, red potatoes would work, but the soup would end up paler in color.

GARLIC BROTH RECIPE (makes about 6 cups)

4 whole garlic bulbs, unpeeled, broken up, and smashed with the back of a knife
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
9 cups water

In a large pot over high heat, combine these 3 ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, for about 1 hour. During this time, the liquid will have reduced to about 6 cups.

Strain the garlic cloves, pressing down on them in the strainer to extract all their liquid, and discard (compost) them.


3 tablespoons olive oil
3 2-inch sprigs of rosemary
2 large yellow onions
1 teaspoon cumin
coarse sea salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups garlic broth
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
white pepper

Remove the rosemary from the sprigs. In a large saucepan over high heat, warm the olive oil until hot but not smoking, about 1 minute. Turn off the heat and immediately add the rosemary to the hot oil. Cook until crispy, shaking the pan to ensure that all the rosemary is covered in oil. Remove the rosemary and set aside.

Turn the heat back on to heat the oil again. Add the onions, cumin and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Saute until soft, 5-10 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.

Add the garlic stock, potatoes, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, covered until the potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.

Bryant then purees the soup in a blender, then presses it through a strainer or sieve. I prefer to just use a “stick” immersion blender. Use what works for you. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Add additional stock to thin, if necessary. Serve hot, garnishing each bowl with crispy rosemary.

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