Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Creamy potato and turnip soup with jalapeno puree

As a side note to yesterday's pics of the new place: notice the pot rack, happily hung in the middle of the kitchen. That's the first time I've been able to hang that pot rack in three years; since I left Brooklyn. The kitchen ceilings in both CA and MA were way too low.

So home now really feels like home.

Anyway, so, yesterday I noticed I had a big bowl full of Yukon Gold potatoes that were starting to look a little sprouty and old. I searched the fridge for inspiration, and discovered three turnips left over from a CSA box. Voila: creamy potato and turnip soup with jalapeno puree.

1 onion, diced
A few swirls of olive oil (although I used a healthy spoonful of bacon fat instead)
Several Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
2-3 medium turnips, peeled and diced
Vegetable broth
Seasonings to taste: I used 1/8 cup Italian seasonings, plus roughly 1 tablespoon each ground ginger and cumin, a little cayenne, lots of salt and pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 jalapeno, pureed

Saute the onion in the olive oil in a large soup pot until soft. Add the potatoes and turnips, and enough vegetable and/or chicken broth to float the whole thing. Let that cook at medium-low, covered, until the vegetables are cooked through. Let cool.

Puree the mixture in batches. Add cream and seasonings to the puree, and mix well. Swirl the jalapeno in at the last minute, and serve.

A side note: the turnips just give it an extra dimension of flavor; don't be afraid to use them. (Parsnips or rutabagas will substitute just fine.) Also, don't be tempted to add more than one jalapeno, like I did. A little jalapeno gives this soup just a whisper of heat; more than that makes the soup fiery, which kills the potato/turnip flavor.

Really lovely served with fresh homemade bread--spectacular when you put a little gruyere cheese on that bread, and make a little toasty cheese bread.

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