February 06, 2016

Mashed Potato Soup

I don't currently have a blender, food processor, or even an electric hand mixer. Things that need pulverizing get pulverized the old-fashioned way, using one or more of: mortar & pestle, grater, sieve, chef's knife, criss-cross potato masher. There are whole categories of soup that I'm not making these days, because the labour required to give them a smooth texture usually relegates them to non-weeknight status, and there's usually a huge list of time-consuming recipes that take priority. This soup, however, starts with mashed potatoes. If you have some leftover from a previous meal, this will come together very fast, otherwise you'll need to start by boiling up some potatoes. Still manageable on a weeknight.

Mashed Potato Soup

Serves 4

4 cups mashed potato
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
big pinch of salt
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2/3 cup schmand or thick sour cream
celery seed
white pepper
4 European style wieners (eg. Frankfurter Würstchen), sliced
up to 1 cup diced cooked vegetables (eg. carrots)

If you don't have leftover mashed potatoes, you'll need about four good-sized floury (as opposed to waxy) potatoes, peeled, and boiled or steamed until tender. Cut them in half or smaller if you like, to speed the process.

While the potatoes cook, sauté the onion and garlic in a tablespoon of butter, just until golden and soft. Season with a big pinch of salt, and a smaller pinch of celery seed and white pepper. Set aside.

Drain the liquid from the cooked potatoes, saving it to use in place of some of the chicken stock if you like. Return the potatoes to the warm pan and put it back on the warm burner. Use a wooden spoon to break up the potatoes, so that the steam evaporates off of them, drying them a bit. When the potatoes are well-shattered, add the rest of the butter and mash until very smooth.

Add the sautéed onions to the potatoes, and mash some more. Add the schmand or sour cream, and mash until smooth. Add the broth (and/or potato water) slowly, stirring well with a wooden spoon, until all the liquid is added and the soup is smooth. Turn the heat back on under the soup pot, and stir in the sliced wieners and cooked vegetables. Let cook on a low-ish heat just until the wieners and vegetables are thoroughly heated up, and the soup is hot (don't let it boil). Serve with a roll on the side, German style, or just enjoy as is.