Editor's note: On Mondays, Kristen Swensson of Cheap, Healthy, Good swings by these parts to share healthy and delicious recipes with us. Since she's busy getting married and honeymooning this week (congrats Kristen!), her fellow CHG blogger Leigh Angel who writes the Veggie Might column is stepping in. Take it away, Leigh! —The Mgmt.
Did you know that Prince Edward Island, Canada, has the perfect soil and climate for growing potatoes? While on vacation in August, I made this discovery for myself and nearly ate my weight in PEI potatoes during my three-day stay. It took all my willpower to refrain from putting a five-pound bag in my suitcase. It wasn't just because I was a vegetarian in the land of mussels and clams—my traveling companions and I dined on the best potatoes we've ever eaten. Locals pointed out the best places to get fries or baked potatoes. We were never disappointed.
On my return, I picked up local, organic potatoes at several of New York City's farmers' markets and turned to my personal cooking guru Madhur Jaffery's World Vegetarian for some inspiration. She did not fail me (she never does).
There's been a chill in the air the past few days, so I chose Margarita Salinas' Mexican Potato Soup. Aside from my precious potatoes, it includes fresh, ripe tomatoes at the peak of their season. The potatoes play a strong supporting role in this delicious, tangy soup, perfectly balancing the acidity of the tomatoes. Combined with the smokiness of chipotle peppers and the bright sass of cilantro, this soup is ideal for a hearty meal starter or late-summer lunch. With no added fat, all the vibrant flavor comes from the vegetables and vegetable stock, making it incredibly healthy, as well as vegan.
The whole thing took just an hour to make, from peeling and chopping the potatoes to simmering and dishing out into bowls. Mexican Tomato Soup has earned an instant spot in my permanent rotation. Next time I'm in PEI, I'm bringing an extra suitcase.
Note: To remove skins from tomatoes, wash and drop them into boiling water with potatoes for 30 seconds each and remove with a slotted spoon. Rinse with cold water, pierce skin with a knife. The tomato skin will peel right off.
- Active time: 30 to 40 minutes
- Total time:50 to 60 minutes
- 1 pound boiling potatoes, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
- Kosher salt
- 3 large red ripe tomatoes, about 1 1/4 pounds, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1 canned chipotle in adobo sauce, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
Place in large saucepan and cover with water by about three inches. Season water with salt. Bring to a boil and cook until tender but firm to the bite (potatoes will cook further in step 2). Drain potatoes and set aside. Meanwhile, blend tomatoes, onion, garlic, and chipotle pepper in blender at high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds.
Pour tomato mixture into large saucepan. Add vegetable stock and potatoes. Stir to combine and season to taste with salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are completely tender, about 7 to 8 minutes. For thicker broth, mash a few potatoes against side of pot with wooden spoon. Add cilantro and simmer for 2 minutes longer. Serve immediately with extra cilantro, sour cream, and cashew cream as desired.