Potato soup is a simple dish of potatoes and milk cooked with some vegetables, bacon and seasoning to create a thick chunky hearty concoction, its creamy and mild, it’s one of the most satisfying dishes you will ever have. It’s one of the oldest recipes on the recipe book, where it was believed to have started in Britain when it was brought over by Sir Walter Raleigh, an explorer in the year 1589. During those times a royal banquet was held, and potatoes were showcased by preparing them in different ways, since the chefs during those times did not know how to use them, they just threw the potatoes away and used its leaves and stems to make a potato soup that does not exist nowadays. Little did the chefs know these parts of potatoes are poisonous hence everyone who ate the soup got food poisoning.
After that the Seven Years’ War happened and in France came famine, during these times potatoes was abundant and cheap and the potato soup that resembles to what we had today was made and became popular and a staple after Antoine August Paramentier established potato soup kitchens in Paris to help the famished citizens and the rest was history.
Today potatoes are still inexpensive and available all year round hence it is enjoyed in all parts of the world, having said that potato soup can also be found in many places specially in Ireland, Poland, Russia and America where it is popular but is it a staple in where I live? As far as I know potato soup is not popular in New Zealand, but it should be, you might ask me why? Simple, I believe we have the best potatoes here and I can attest to that since I tried many French Fries in the world, and nothing can compare to the spuds we grow here. That means if we use New Zealand potatoes with our number one produce which is milk then we can make a superior tasting potato soup, and here is how I made them.
- 5 pcs Agria potatoes, peeled and diced (around 6 cups)
- 1 carrot, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 cups good chicken stock (home-made preferably)
- ⅓ cup flour
- 2½ cups milk
- ½ cup cream
- 75 g butter
- freshly ground black pepper
- 8 pcs streaky bacon, chopped
- spring onions, chopped
- shredded cheddar cheese
- In a soup pot heat a small amount of oil, add bacon and cook until golden brown and crispy. Set aside the bacon and leave oil.
- Add the butter then sauté onions, garlic, celery and carrots.
- Add the flour then mix to form a roux.
- Gently add the chicken broth a cup at a time until sauce becomes even in consistency.
- Add potatoes and bring to a boil, simmer in medium low heat and cook for 20 minutes.
- Add the milk then continue to cook in low heat for 5 minutes or until soup is thick.
- Add in the cream, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper then turn the heat off.
- Place in serving bowl topped with the crispy bacon, spring onions and cheddar cheese.