Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Roasted Potato Shallot Soup

My friend Diana hates leeks, which are the usual combination in a potato soup. When I thought about it, I realized several people I know dislike them, and this soup is too good to miss. Shallots are sweet when roasted and complement a lot of foods, so I decided to give them a try. Worked like a charm, not too sweet, not too onion-y. :-) Some potato soups are bland and need to be punched up with a lot of pepper and spices, but not this one. It has tons of flavor! Don't worry about the coconut milk, it doesn't taste coconutty at all, just rich and creamy (plus, you'll be saving a whopping 1200 calories in all!) In fact, I actually like this version even better than the original, and that's saying a lot. Serves 6-8

2 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled & cut in 1" chunks, no bigger
12 oz shallots, peeled and left whole unless they're huge, then cut in half
5-6 more shallots for the crispy shallot topping, peeled and very thinly sliced
EVOO about 1-1/2 c total for everything or 1/4 c EVOO and 1-1/4 c coconut oil, melted
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 c baby arugula, loosely packed *See note below
1/2 c dry white wine, plus 2 TB to add at the end
6-7 c homemade chicken stock
3/4 c whole coconut milk, shaken vigorously before opening

Preheat oven to 400*F

Put the potatoes on one half of the half-sheet, shallots on the other. Drizzle both generously with EVOO and toss to coat all the pieces. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cover the shallots with a piece of aluminum foil. Roast for 15 minutes.

While the veggies are roasting, start your crispy shallots; they'll take just as long to cook. Heat 1-1/4 c EVOO (since I ran out, I used the coconut oil and it worked fine) in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Separate the shallot rings as you drop them in. Toss to coat with the oil and slowly cook them for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally,  until they're all golden brown. Lower the heat if you need to, to keep them from burning. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and crisp up.

Back to the veg: after the first 15 minutes, remove the aluminum foil and turn the potatoes and shallots with a metal spatula so they get evenly browned and don't burn on the bottom. Use your spatula to coax up any potatoes that are stuck. Roast for another 15 minutes and turn again. Roast another 10-15 minutes, for a total of 40-45 minutes, until the potatoes break up easily with a fork. Transfer the veg to a large bowl, using your spatula to scrape up any browned bits on the sheet and include those, too.

Pile the arugula on the sheet pan and roast 4-5 minutes, just to get it crispy, then add it to the potatoes and shallots in the bowl. Now, working in batches, add half the contents to a food processor (I think a blender would work fine, too), add the 1/2 c wine and a cup or so of the chicken stock, just enough to help blend everything. I do not add a lot here, because when it's too liquid, the potatoes and shallots won't puree as easily or consistently. Process until smooth, transfer to a soup pot, and do the next batch the same way.

Now add the rest of the chicken stock to the pot. I like my soup thick and hearty, so I only use about 6 c total. Stir in 1/2 c of the coconut milk, taste, and add the rest if you want it creamier, like I do. Heat through, to just below a boil. Take it off the heat and add the 2 TB white wine. Don't skip the wine here! When you taste the soup it will feel like something's missing, and the wine does the trick. Taste for salt & pepper and add more if you like. Top each bowl with the crispy shallots, and enjoy!

* * * * * * *
See how easy this is? All you need are pantry staples and arugula, and you have a rich, hearty, flavorful  soup for days like today, when it's 12* outside. (You'll need twice as much as in the picture, by the way. When I'm experimenting, I cut the recipe in half; no sense in wasting an enormous pot of food that went south.)

*Note: I've made the original version many times, but I always omitted the arugula because it sounded... well, icky. Huge mistake. I tried it with spinach (yuck) and arugula, and what a fool I was; the arugula is going in every time from now on!

This is adapted from Ina Garten's recipe for potato leek soup with only a couple of changes. If you want to make the original version with leeks, just swap out the coconut milk for the heavy cream, use coconut oil for the crispy shallots if you prefer, and omit the crème fraîche and cheese; you won't miss it at all. Plus you'll be saving 880 calories from omitting the crème fraîche, and another 318 from swapping out the cream for whole coconut milk!


  1. I'm definitely making this tonight! It sounds divine.

    1. Yay! Please post your results and opinion :-)

  2. Fantastic! I didn't puree the veggies long enough before putting it into the soup pot, but the result was still delightful! It took me three hours to make but it was worth it. THANK YOU!

  3. I'm so glad you loved it, that makes me very happy! Once you get familiar with the process, it will take maybe 1 hr 15 min total prep to table.

  4. Oh. My. God. This is SO delicious!! I made this soup again tonight and it only took 1 hr 30 min. This time I made it with a drier white wine, pureed it a little longer and added a little extra salt at the end. The result was heavenly. Even better than before. It's very dense and satisfying. I made double extra crispy shallots, too. :)

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