If I didn’t love the name The Kitchen Beet so much, I could’ve easily titled it “The Kitchen Soup.” This happy little food blog started in late spring of this year, so you really haven’t had the chance to learn one of my truths: When all else fails, make soup. It’s so forgiving (I mean, you have to work to mess up soup). Generally speaking, it only requires a cutting board, knife, measuring cup or two, measuring spoons and a big pot. This makes for happy dishwashers. It’s an excellent way to use up a variety of veggies. You get the point. I love soup. There will be lots of soup. I hope you love soup, too.
1 TBSP olive oil
1 – 1.5 cups diced white onion or leeks
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
6 larger new or yukon gold potatoes, diced large (This is about 4 cups once diced; please note you could use russet too!)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
4 – 5 cups vegetable broth
3/4 cup milk
1 TBSP arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
2 TBSP finely diced celery leaves or parsley
1/4 cup half-and-half
scallions (or chives), to garnish
freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, to garnish
Warm the olive oil over medium heat in a soup pot, and saute onions/leeks, carrots and celery for 8 – 10 minutes, until starting to soften. Add potatoes and season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir and saute for another 5 minutes or so. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and let it cook for about 10 – 12 minutes. The potatoes should be tender at this point. (I usually remove a potato and eat it to test, burning my mouth in the process. Very technical over here.) If the potatoes are not tender, keep simmering, checking every couple of minutes.
Slowly add the milk, stirring as you go. Add the arrowroot powder and mix it in. This will help to thicken your soup. If you have an immersion blender, now is the time to safely move your soup pot to a spot where you can use it. Please be careful, so you don’t splatter and burn yourself. If you don’t have an immersion blender, no problem. Safely blend somewhere between half and three-quarters of the soup in a regular blender, and return to the pot.
Add your celery leaves and half-and-half and give it one final stir. A note about the celery leaves – this is for those vibrant green leaves with amazing flavor that you get from the farmer’s market. If your celery doesn’t have leaves, parsley would be a great alternative! If needed, add a little more salt and pepper.
Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with scallions or chives, and a sprinkle (or in my case, giant handful) of sharp cheddar cheese. Happy soup season!