I've made a few potato soups in my time, but none that were cooked quite like this. Usually you sauté some vegetables, cook the potatoes in stock until tender, then lightly mash them up at the end to thicken the soup. But this one from Saveur insists on simply tossing the vegetables, including the onions, into a pot and simmering until tender. Nothing is sauteed first, and the only thickening agent is a basic cheese sauce added at the very end.
The result is a spectacularly easy and very flavorful soup. Each bite is rich and complex, which is kind of astonishing considering the method. Much of that comes from the velvety cheese sauce and sweet carrots.
So it's delicious and kind of easy, what's the problem? Well, there are a lot of onions in each bite, which can get kind of annoying. I'd say cut the amount of onion in half, but the flavor is great, and you don't want to miss that. Perhaps you could add a whole onion then remove it, but I can't back that up.
I still think it's worth the effort, but you have to love onions.
- 4 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 8 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- Salt and pepper
Add the potatoes carrots, onions, and chicken stock to a large, heavy pot. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently until all the vegetables are soft, about 45 minutes.
With about ten minutes left to cook, pour milk into a small saucepan and warm it over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, add butter to a medium-sized saucepan. Melt over medium heat, and then slowly whisk in the flour. Cook, whisking occasionally, for about two minutes. Be careful not to let it brown.
Pour ½ cup of the warmed milk into the medium-sized saucepan and whisk until smooth. Repeat process until all the milk has been added. Cook until smooth and slightly thickened, whisking occasionally, about three minutes more. Stir in the cheese.
Pour the cheese mixture into the potato soup. Stir well until incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.