Posts Tagged ‘potato’

Mom’s Oatmeal Potato Soup with “Meat”balls

When I was a little kid, my Mom didn’t really make chicken noodle soup.  My Mom made the good old Russian standby: oatmeal potato soup with tiny little pork meatballs.  I love the fluff out of that stuff, in the way that you love only your Mom’s cooking.

With the weather turning cold, I’ve been in the mood for soup.  So I decided to make a quick Americanized veggie version of my Mom’s Russian classic.

Ingredients:

Makes 3 entree-sized servings

3 small potatoes, diced

3 carrots, diced

2 shallots, sliced (I ran out of onions, you can use anything from that family)

1 32 oz. box of veggie stock

2 handfuls of oatmeal (I used Irish but just about anything will be great.  I think Scottish will be awesome)

2 Italian fauxsages, broken up into chunks (I bought Trader Joe’s brand in a hurry and didn’t notice they aren’t actually vegan, they have egg whites in them… ugh!  but you can totally find a vegan version of them!)

How I Made It:

Heat a couple of tablespoons of EVOO in your soup pot on medium high heat.  Saute the shallots a couple of minutes, until they start getting golden.  Add the carrots, saute for a minute.  Add the chunks of meatless sausage.  Saute according to package directions, until they get some color on them. Throw in the oatmeal.  Stir to coat with oil.  Throw in the potatoes and immediately pour in the stock.  Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes and carrots are tender.  Enjoy with a little bit of parsley garnish.

If You Hate Meatless Meats:

I know some people prefer not to consume these things.  Totally understand.  You can obviously make this without, but then you’ll need to throw in some spices that are usually found in Italian “fauxsage”: fennel, anise and black peppercorns.  I’d actually use fresh fennel and saute it along with the onion/shallot/leek you’re using and throw in the other spices at the same time as your oatmeal, giving them a chance to develop before you drown them in stock.

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Roasted Funky Color Vegetables

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It’s sad that summer is finally over, but at least we get to enjoy all the amazing things that fall has to offer, vegetable wise. As you can see from the picture above, I picked up some very interesting vegetables at the market recently.  If that cauliflower looks odd to you, don’t blame my photography skills.  It’s actually Satur Farms Citrus Yellow Cauliflower which has this gorgeous butter yellow color, and a much more subtle, understated flavor.  I paired it with some Purple Baby and Gold Creamer Potatoes.

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These vegetables were so gorgeous that there wasn’t much to do other than chop ’em up, toss them with some good olive oil, making sure each bit was covered, adding some thinly sliced garlic on top and letting them roast at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes.  That’s it!  I added some Satur Mesculin Mix with homemade vinaigrette (I don’t know WHY I ever bought salad dressing before!) and we had a delicious, filling, healthy dinner.  True, we had some chocolate chip cookies later, but you know, that’s a whole another story!

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Chopping leeks and potatoes

When I was making the soup below, I discovered a few things about chopping these two types of vegetables that I want to share with you.

Leeks

I’m one of those people who is extremely sensitive to onions and other vegetables in that family.  They make me bawl like a baby.  Today, I realized the same thing applied to leeks.  I guess I’ve never made leeks before!  Usually, when I chop those vegetables, I wear my Onion Goggles . Next time I cook with leeks, I’m definitely donning my goggles.

Potatoes

I come from the Soviet Union, where we are afraid of 3 things:  catching a cold from a draft, rock ‘n roll music and our freshly peeled/cut potatoes turning brown from exposure to air.  I always dump freshly peeled potatoes in a bowl of water to prevent this happening.  But I would never do that with cut potatoes because I don’t want all the starches to leach out of them before I cook them.

So when I chopped my potatoes for soup today waaaaaaay before I would put them in, I figured I was going to be in trouble.  NOPE!  My small potato dice sat out on the cutting board without even a hint of browning for at least 15 minutes.  There you go:  potato browning, old wives’ tale.  Who knew?

Potato and Leek Soup

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I had some leftover veggie stock and I was just itching to make something with it.  So I decided to try my hand at potato and leek soup.  I’ve tried this classic French dish mostly as vichyssoise, that is chilled and with tons of dairy dumped in.  But I was sure that there was no need for that so I decided to make a vegan version.  Mark’s version is on page 106.

Ingredients I Used

2 Tbsp EVOO

3 Russet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch dice*

4 medium sized leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced*

4 cups veggie stock (I had exactly this much left over, amazing!)

salt and pepper for seasoning

How I Made It

Mark advises heating up the oil, then dumping in all the vegetables at once.  This didn’t make sense to me.  I’m not a professional but I knew this would make the potatoes stick and the leeks would take much longer to cook.  So I put the leeks in first, sauteed them while stirring about 5 minutes and then added the potatoes just before adding the stock.  I cooked the whole deal, covered, at a simmer for half an hour.  It looked like this when it was done:

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I was expecting company for dinner that night so I turned off the flame and let the pot sit on the stove, until just before serving.  Once I knew my guest was about to arrive, I put about half of the soup in the blender, pureed and returned to the pot.  I turned the flame to the lowest setting on the burner to warm it back up but that’s about all I did.  Unfortunately, because this was for company, I didn’t get a chance to photograph the final product, but it was silky and creamy without any additions of dairy.  So, completely vegan!  We ate it with a simple garden salad that I dressed with Mark’s Vinaigrette dressing (p. 762-63: I used white wine vinegar) and drank delicious Brooklyn Brewery Local 1 Ale. If you had the non-vegetarian version of this soup, I’d say that the only difference is that it is a bit darker in color since my stock was so dark from the mushrooms and the soy sauce.  But other than that, I couldn’t tell the difference. Enjoy!