I’m borrowing this quote for the Baked Potato Soup recipe from my cooking bible, Veganomicon. Because I couldn’t say it any better:
“ Kids really love this soup, as far as we can tell, so if your kids say they don’t, please explain that we said yes, they do. There’s a giant French fry in it, for heaven’s sake—- that is, a potato wedge that’s been dredged in cornmeal and lightly fried. As for the healthy part, we use kale here, but escarole or spinach would be good, too. Make the baked potatoes the night before so you can have this soup ready in thirty minutes. Or microwave them instead: just don’t tell us about it. Sincerely, Anti-Microwave Squad.”
– The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook Veganomicon 10th Anniversary Edition
Baked Potato & Greens Soup w/ Potato-wedge Croutons Ingredients:
Serves: 6 Prep: 30 (not counting baking the potatoes)
- 6-8 baking potatoes, baked and cooled
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion. Sliced into short strips
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp fennel seeds, crushed
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp rubbed dried sage
- Plenty of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ cup dry white wine (or just more broth if you prefer)
- 4 cups vegetable broth, purchased or homemade
- 4 cups torn kale, rough stems removed
- 2 heaping tablespoons coarse cornmeal
- ¼ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp paprika
- Generous pinch of salt
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- Olive oil in a spray bottle (or enough for light frying)
Baked Potato Soup Recipe:
- Once your potatoes are baked and cool enough to handle, preheat a soup pot and saute the onion in the oil over medium heat until good and brown, about 12 minutes.
- While onion cooks, prep potatoes: Slice the baked potato in half lengthwise. Reserve three of the halves to make the potato wedges. Slice the rest into ¾ inch chunks.
- Once the onion is browned, add the garlic, fennel, thyme, sage, pepper and salt. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the wine to deglaze the pan. Add the chunks of potatoes and the broth, cover, and lower heat a bit to bring to a low boil. Mix in the kale. Cover and cook for 15 to 20 more minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the potato wedges:
- Slice the reserved potato halves in half lengthwise so you can have six pieces.
- Preheat a heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat.
- Combine all the ingredients for the wedges, except for the oil, on a plate. Wet the potato wedges with a little bit of water and dredge the two cut sides in the cornmeal mixture.
- Lightly coat the skillet with oil. Cook the potatoes on each side for about 4 minutes, or until gold and crispy. Spray with oil as you alternate cooking sides.
The soup should be done at this point. Use a potato masher to mash up about half of the soup (for once, don’t use the immersion blender; it will make the potatoes pasty and yucky). If it’s too thick, add a little water or broth. Ladle into bowls and top with a potato wedge crouton.
Yesterday as I stared into the pot of leftover soup, with it’s one potato wedge floating in the center, I was thinking we could roll dice for which one of us would get that outrageously good chunk of fried potato ( a rarity in this house), not the dice rolling, but anything fried 🙂 Also, there wasn’t quite enough soup to be our main dish so I stood there wracking my brain for what to serve alongside.
You know how inspiration comes in a flash, well I thought of the dumplings I used to simmer in chicken noodle soup which never failed to add in some way, more comfort. We thought we’d died and gone to heaven again, while eating our Baked Potato Soup 2.0.
Baked Potato Soup 2.0
Pour leftover soup into a deep skillet or pan and re-heat until soft boil, then turn down to simmer.
Cover with a lid so you don’t lose any of the precious broth. If you need you can add a little more broth or water. While it’s simmering, make the dumplings.
Makes: 8 dumplings Preheat oven: 425 Degrees
- ¾ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1 tsp apple-cider vinegar
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup coconut oil, softened
- Add to the unsweetened non-dairy milk, 1 tsp apple-cider vinegar and set aside to curdle.
- Add the coconut oil to the flour in clumps and work it into the dough with a fork or with your fingers until large crumbs form. You don’t want to cream it in, there should be clumps.
- Drizzle in the milk and mix with a fork until everything is moistened (some dry parts are okay).
- Wash and dry your hands, then lightly flour them and get them dirty again.
- Gently knead the dough about ten times right in the bowl, just so that it is holding together and not very sticky, as in sticking to your fingers, then gently work in a little more flour. Set aside and check on your soup.
- The soup should be simmering and slightly thickened.
- Add the dumplings by pulling off chunks of dough that are slightly larger than golf balls. Gently roll them into balls and flatten a bit; they don’t have to be perfectly round.
- Add them to the top of the soup, about an inch or so apart.
- Transfer the skillet or pan to the preheated oven. Bake for about 15 minutes. The dumplings should be just slightly browned and firm to the touch.
- Remove from the oven and use a large serving spoon to place some of the soup and a dumpling in each shallow, individual bowl.
- Sprinkle with a little chopped fresh thyme.
This is especially yummy when you break up your dumpling and mix it with your stew 🙂
Nothing new to report, except for having had an invigorating walk this morning against a wind feeling like it was coming right off the snowy mountains of our view. So, I leave you with a poem by one of my favorite poets; Billy Collins. I think it’s appropriate, a kitchen is mentioned and some food 🙂
This Much I Do Remember
It was after dinner.
You were talking to me across the table
about something or other,
a greyhound you had seen that day
or a song you liked.
and I was looking past you
over your bare shoulder
at the three oranges lying
on the kitchen counter
next to the small electric bean grinder,
which was also orange,
and the orange and white cruets for vinegar and oil.
All of which converged
into a random still life,
so fastened together by the hasp of color,
and so fixed behind the animated
foreground of your
talking and smiling,
gesturing and pouring wine,
and the camber of your shoulder
that I could feel it being painted within me,
brushed on the wall of my skull,
while the tone of your voice
lifted and fell in its flight,
and the three oranges
remained fixed on the counter
the way stars are said
to be fixed in the universe.
Then all the moments of the past
began to line up behind that moment
and all the moments to come
assembled in front of it in a long row,
giving me to believe
that this was a moment I had rescued
from millions that rush out of sight
into a darkness behind the eyes.
Even after I have forgotten what year it is,
my middle name,
and the meaning of money,
I will still carry in my pocket
the small coin of that moment,
minted in the kingdom
that we pace through every day.
Ciao for now 🙂