Caramelised Onion and pan-fried Potato Soup, with freshly grated Parmesan
Santa must’ve forgotten his Sat Nav last night. Either that or Mrs Claus forgot to include me on his list. It’s not as if I was that bad during the year. I mean, it’s not as if I joined the Conservative Party. Hold on, that would be tantamount to evil – even I’m not capable of being THAT bad. Anyway,
to make amends I’m going with two recipes, from fellow bloggers, I decided on making to end the year. This time from the fabulous: COTTAGE GROVE HOUSE. And this is so good I made it for a second time, for my starter of the big ol’ CDay itself. Hmm, as good as the recipe is it’s interesting I seem to have read what I’d wanted to see. In other words, I made the assumption that their post included instructions on pan-frying the potatoes – until cooked. No! That’s just what I completely overlooked or misread. Either way I happen to love this very simple soup. And would never have thought to use, ahem, pan-fried potatoes until fully cooked within a soup in the first place. Regardless of how often I’ve cooked potatoes to get them deliciously crunchy. Just goes to show you. And, just in case, don’t ask me to read the fine print as no doubt I’ll end up creating a tale of sorts. Overactive imagination?! Not exactly. After all, I’ve just written that I would never have thought of going with this soup as is. Which in itself surprises me as I quite often add pan-fried swede (rutabaga), turnip and potatoes in lieu of croutons. And this is no exception as I do love smashing these crunchy and crispy potatoes against the base of bowl or the sides of it…you get the gist! I’m a messy eater. No! Terribly well behaved in polite society. Just not so at a Tory conference – but then, who would notice the difference?!
Caramelised Onion and pan-fried Potato Soup
PREP: about 30 mins ~ COOK: about 30 mins ~ READY IN: 1 hour
ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT NEEDED: liquidiser or a blender suitable for puréeing soups, in batches if necessary ~ fine grater (microplane) for the Parmesan
- 250g (8.818 oz) x prepared weight onions, trimmed, cut in half lengthways, peeled and sliced from near root end toward stem, turned and root end sliced off and discarded
- 1 x dried bay leaf, split
- 500 – 750g (17.64 – 26.46 oz) x prepared weight (Maris Piper) potatoes, peeled and roughly cubed
- 500ml (16.91 fl oz) x cold water
- 1 x organic vegetable stock cube
- 1 x green finger chilli (Scoville heat rating: 50,000 units) – optional
- 1/4 x teaspoon red pepper flakes – optional
- Parmesan, freshly grated to serve
- freshly ground sea salt and black pepper, to serve
- single/light cream, to serve – optional
Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.
- Put a heavy-based saucepan on electric heat No 3 (out of 6) and when pan is hot add enough oil to cover the base of pan. Add the onions, bay leaf and green finger chilli (if using), clamp on a lid and cook for up to 15 minutes, checking about halfway through. Remove lid, stir through and continue to pan-fry the onions until they start to take on a pale golden colour. I can leave mine well alone for most of the time as stirring through often doesn’t seem to help. It’s really according to how heavy the pan is and which heat source you happen to be using. After about 20 or so minutes I normally have to reduce the heat to No 2 and sometimes as low as No 1 to prevent scorching. Do add a splash of water or a little extra oil if the onions are looking too dry. Cook until they’re nicely golden, then set aside. Remove the bay leaf and chilli and reserve. If using red pepper flakes then sprinkle those over after removing the pan from heat.
- Either pan-fry the potatoes or roast them. I don’t tend to do the latter as using an electric oven takes forever. To pan-fry I put a heavy-based pan on heat No 3 to initially heat the pan whilst prepping the potatoes. Then the heat is turned up to No 4 before adding any oil. When the potatoes are good to go, and before there’s any sign of the oil smoking, get the potatoes in. They can spit so do take care. Stir through often to prevent sticking to base of pan. Once they start to take on a pale golden colour that’s when I reduce heat to No 3, and if necessary use a couple of forks to turn each potato piece over to make sure they cook evenly. When nicely golden and easily pierced with a fork take off heat and set aside.
- In a large saucepan with lid add the water and the stock cube. Put on heat No 4 and bring to near boiling point. Making sure the stock cube is fully dissolved. Take off heat and allow to cool sufficiently before liquidising/puréeing the onions.
- When cool enough to do so add the onions and the stock to a suitable blender/liquidiser. Blitz until smooth. Pour back into the large saucepan and put back on heat before serving.
- When the soup is needed simply put the potatoes back on heat to make sure they’re piping hot. I tend to add some of the potatoes to the soup just before serving, reserving the others to add to the soup to prevent them from going soggy.
- Serve with single/light cream and lots of freshly grated Parmesan or Grana Padano.
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