Friday, 22 April 2011
An amazing Potato Soup
Right now, the weather is so bloody nice, it makes a post about soup seem almost perverted somehow. But last week I made the best soup, well...ever basically. It absolutely blew me away and I just have to write about it. In any case, this being Britain, it'll probably be snowing next week. When it does, you'll all be thanking me for this.
It's a potato soup based on a recipe from the legendary Simon Hopkinson, who pinched it from the once legendary Walnut Tree restaurant, so it's actually legendary multiplied by two. Therefore, logically, an über legendary recipe. Tres legend as we say in Essex.
BTW - I've heard whispers that Mr Hopkinson has a new six part cookery series airing on the BBC this summer. Titled 'The Good Cook' I reckon It's going to be a must watch.
This recipe is interesting in that despite it's apparent simplicity and it's unusual 'boil it to death' cooking technique the resulting soup is fantastic. Honestly, it's frigging awesome. It's also extremely adaptable. We used the recipe as a base for a wild garlic version to serve at our 'Montpelier Basement' supper club recently and it worked really well.
Potato Soup with Porcini
5 Medium Potatoes (I used Maris Piper).
2 Cloves Garlic
Salt and Pepper
200g Porcini finely diced (The recipe calls for fresh mushrooms, but I used dried, and used the resulting mushroom 'soaking liquid' to loosen up the soup and add more flavour).
250ml Single Cream
2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 White Truffle, shaved (Optional...thank God for that!)
Peel and roughly chop the potatoes.
Boil them in salted water with the garlic. Cook until the potatoes disintegrate.
Pass the potatoes, cooking water and garlic through a mouli (If you don't have one, I guess you could push through a sieve with a wooden spoon, but it'd be hard work - definitely DON'T blitz or liquidise spuds - they turn to wallpaper paste).
Return to the heat. Add half the butter, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Beat the mixture with a whisk, if it's too thick (It almost certainly will be) loosen with some water, or if you used dried porcini, the mushroom 'stock' from re-hydrating them.
Saute the Porcini (dried or fresh) in the remaining butter and put to one side.
Add the cream and parsley to the soup.
Check the seasoning and consistency carefully, it should be velvety and impossibly creamy.
Serve in warm bowls, with the porcini piled on top and liberally smothered with grated parmesan and a nice drizzle of good olive oil.
Alternatively, omit the porcini (if you wish...or leave it in!) and stir through a good hand full of chopped wild garlic with the parsley and cream, at the end for a... errr...wild garlic version.