Salvage your spuds with a batch of soup

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Dan Bolyard/courtesy photo A batch of potato soup can solve a growing potato problem.

One of our bins of potatoes in the basement has started to grow, despite efforts to keep them cool and in the dark. I changed my plans around and made up a batch of potato soup.

These are red potatoes and they are still reasonably firm. I snapped off all of the sprouts and then carefully peeled them.

You could use russets in the below recipes, but they will have a tendency to fall apart and not hold up like the reds will. Yellow potatoes will work well in place of the reds.


POTATO SOUP

  • 1 pound diced bacon
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 3 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Bake the bacon in the oven as discussed last week. Remove bacon from pan and set aside; crumble when cooled. Drain off all but 1/4 cup of the bacon fat. Place the bacon fat in a large pot over medium heat and sauté the celery and onion until onion becomes soft. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cubed potatoes and toss to coat. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Return the bacon to the pan and add enough chicken stock to just cover the potatoes. Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender. In a separate pan, melt the butter and bacon fat. Add the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to make a roux. Add the heavy cream, tarragon and cilantro. Bring the cream mixture to a boil to thicken, stirring constantly. Add the cream mixture to the potato mixture, heating through. Puree about half of the soup and return to the pan. Adjust seasonings before serving.


ROASTED POTATOES

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon gray salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 medium potatoes, cut lengthwise into1/2 inch thick wedges
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2 inch thick wedges
  • 1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 4 lime wedges

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, combine all seasoning ingredients. Add potatoes and onion; toss to coat evenly. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake 25 minutes. Add tomatoes; bake an additional 7 to 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Transfer vegetables to large bowl; add cilantro. Sprinkle with lime juice; toss lightly. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.


ASIAGO CHEESE MASHED POTATO

  • 1 1/2 red potatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2/3 cup shredded Asiago cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut them into cubes. Fill a large pot halfway full of water and place over high heat until boiling. Add the potatoes and reduce heat. Bring to a very slow boil and cook the potatoes until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain. Place in the bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment and mix together until broken up. Add cheese and cream and continue to mix until desired consistency. Adjust seasonings.


GLAZED POTATOES

  • 12 small red potatoes
  • 8 small whole onions
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leave
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash potatoes, remove any blemishes, but do not peel. Clean and peel onions, but leave whole. Place potatoes and onions in a deep baking dish that has a lid. Sprinkle vinegar over potatoes and onions. Dot butter around the top. Sprinkle thyme leaves and salt and pepper evenly over everything. Place lid on dish (seal with foil if no lid), and place in the oven. Bake for 2 hours (yes, 2 hours is correct), stirring gently every 1/2 hour. Turn down heat if the glaze starts to burn. The butter and vinegar will have reduced to a thick glaze that coats the vegetables.

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