Garden, Plant, Cook!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Sweet Pepper, Onion, Potato "Creamy" Soup

Dear Folks,

Yep, another of my "Creamy" soups.  I and my dear guy are in love with these soups. The variations are limited only to the vegetables you love and have (hopefully from your garden).

So far in the last year I have done versions using, broccoli, asparagus, celery/onion combo, cucumber and celery (it was lovely and delicate) and I "think" I did an artichoke heart one also, but can't find the reference so that is on my next soup agenda!

I love sweet peppers and you may recall I shared a photo of a harvest from the gardens in early January.  Among the harvest was a LOT of sweet peppers. What to do, what to do?

I finally decided I needed to make a sweet pepper soup and rather than cook the onions separately as noted in the basic recipe (see below), I decided roasting the peppers and onions together made more sense and added more flavor.

Just roasting the peppers and onions together with some Syrian Oregano (aka Za'atar)  produced the most wonderful aromas in the kitchen.  I used about 1 tsp each of non-cured bacon fat and avocado oil to toss the veggies with, spread then sprinkled with the herb and salt and pepper.

Next I brought chicken broth to boil (water is an option) and cooked up the potatoes for about 12 minutes.  Added the roasted vegetables, and simmered for another 12-15 minutes.  Pureed and stir in parmesan cheese.  Ladled into the bowls and chopped up fresh sugar pea pods (from the garden) and did the "low-carb de-fat salami slices on paper towels in the microwave", chopped and garnished each bowl with them.

Another keeper recipe for sure.

Here is the basic recipe.  Change out the vegetables, herbs, cheese and water/broth as you like.

Basic "Creamy" Potato Vegetable Soup
This makes about 3+ cups of finished soup (can easily be doubled)
The "Creamy" is from the potato - cheese optional, so this can be vegetarian, vegan, and dairy-allergic friendly

These soups reheat beautifully the next day - if there are leftovers.  Warm on the stove or microwave for 90 seconds.

THE KEY to the flavor and quality of this soup is:

1)  roasting the focus vegetable(s)
2)  using potato, don't rinse you need the starch and I strongly recommend leaving the peels on.

2 tablespoons of avocado, olive or oil or fat of of choice
2 - 4 tablespoons of diced onion, leek, garlic, chive etc of your choice
1 medium size potato (small chunks equal to about 1 1/2 cups) - I do NOT peel my potatoes.
2 cups of vegetable of choice, diced
2 cups of water or broth
salt and cracked black pepper
limequat, lime or lemon
Optional:  complimentary herbs/spices to the vegetable
Optional;:  4 ounces of shredded or grated cheese of choice which compliments the vegetables and herbs: White cheddar, parmesan etc.  You could float a small cube of Brie on each bowl of soup as a garnish

Garnish of choice:  minced vegetables, slivered greens, capers or minced olives, edible flowers - pretty much any topping you think goes with the vegetable you chose.

An immersion blender works great for this.


Heat oven to 450 and prepare a pan with aluminum foil for roasting the focus vegetable

Prepare the vegetable.
Wash potato, remove any blemishes, do not peel, cut into chunks and add to water, set aside.
Prepare onion (garlic etc.) of choice
Prepare or have ready the complimentary herb or spice mix you are using
Have your choice of garnishes ready and set aside
Shred cheese if using, set aside

In the pot you will cook the soup in, warm 1 tablespoon of fat/oil of choice and toss the focus vegetable with the oil - in the pot.  Spread the vegetable out on the prepared pan and season with salt and pepper. Do not wipe out the pot.

Add the last tablespoon of fat to the pot, and cook the onion of choice on low.  Put the pan of vegetables into the oven and set the time for 5 minutes.

Stir the onion and do not let it burn.

When the timer goes off, add the potatoes and water (or broth) to the pot, bring to a boil, covered.

Stir the pan of vegetables and reset the timer for 5 minutes.

Lower the pot to a gentle low boil.

When the timer goes off, add the roasted vegetable to the pot, add any herbs or spices you are going to use, cover and boil on low for 7 minutes or until the potato is tender.

Remove from heat and using an immersion blender, puree the soup - I like to leave some chunks in for texture.

At this point if you are adding cheese, do so and stir to fully melt the cheese.  Ladle into bowls, top with garnish of choice, squeeze some lime or lemon juice over and serve and enjoy!

Watch the overnight temps and keep the frost covers handy.

Have a great day in the garden and kitchen.

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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