Comfort Soup for cold Autumn evenings

You know those days where it never stops raining?

That first morning of autumn where your alarm goes off and it’s still dark outside?

When the day ahead of you is filled with investments and contracts and not nearly enough Unicorns?

Those days require autumnal fortitude. And Jimmy Stewart. Possibly also a killer peacoat and some stunning potato soup.

Potato soup may seem like a lame relic from impoverished medival kitchens, but I assure you, it can be outstanding. The right combination of herbs and starchy warmth (and never thin and watery broth), it can bolster you up from the inside out. You’ll want to stalk deer and climb mountains and possibly even start considering rosy, cosy holiday plans.

Comfort Soup

2 tbsp rosemary

1 tbsp thyme

2 tbsp butter

3 cloves garlic

2 bay leaves

1 leek

1 carrot

5-6 medium potatoes

around 500mL hot stock (I use chicken for extra hearty, homegoodness but any you like would probably be fine. except maybe fish.)

200ml heavy cream

optional but strongly recommended: bacon and sharp cheddar cheese to finish

First, wash your vegetables, but don’t peel them. Skins are full of goodness and add texture. Chop them into smallish cubes.

In a heavy soup pot, melt the butter and fry the leek, carrot, and  garlic.

(This is where I shameless boil the kettle and get out ready-made stock concentrate)

Add the herbs and potatoes to the pan, and cover with stock (aka hot water and seasonings). Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper for good measure.

Bring it to boil, uncovered, then simmer until the potatoes are softly falling apart when poked and the water level has reduced significantly. Depends on the size of your cubes and the type of potatoes, but anywhere from 25-60 minutes.

In a separate frying pan, fry up some bacon. The smell alone will do your heart good, but crispy, crumbled, streaky bacon also happenes to be the world’s best soup crouton.

When your soup is finished simmering, remove from the heat and discard the bay leaves.

Roughly blend the soup using whatever food processor, liquid mixer, or potato masher is at your disposal. Leave some hearty chunks, as I do, or puree to taste.

Stir in the cream. From her you can either serve immediately, or place on a low heat and thicken gently to your liking. We generally disdain soup unless you can stand your spoon up in the bowl, so I often leave it a little while until I have what can only be described as aromatic, idyllic potato porridge.

Serve in wide bowls, sprinkled with bacon and shredded cheese garnish for extra bite and warmth.


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