Mystery House

Potato Soup & Pumpernickel

Or, an old favorite and a new one.

This is the potato soup my mom always made. You chop up carrots and onion, and dice four big potatoes and start them boiling in six cups of water.  Salt and pepper, of course.  Yep, the photo’s fuzzy because that’s actual steam.  We’re really cooking here!  This ain’t some sort of Sandra Lee production.

Potato Soup 1

Cover the pot and keep it going at a nice, lively simmer for maybe 45 minutes.  Then make a roux.

Melt half a stick of butter, whisk in four tablespoons of AP flour, and keep whisking until it gets brown.

Potato Soup 2

No, not yet.  Brown.  Do not stop whisking!  You’ll have a burned disaster in an instant if you go answer the phone or check your email.  If you are foolish enough to take photos while you try to make a roux, do it with one hand.

Potato Soup 3

I took mine to an even browner point, but photography was beyond foolish and simply not possible at that moment.

Once it’s good and dark, turn off the flame and slowly whisk in broth from the potato pot until you’ve got it watered down enough that no matter what evil thoughts that roux might be harboring, it can’t possibly lump up when you add it to the soup.  Which is the next thing you do, of course.

Bring the soup back to a boil and cook for a few minutes while you throw together a salad.  That’s it.  Couldn’t be simpler.  And if you’re wondering about the lack of seasoning, fear not.  The roux has taken care of the problem for you.  It’s very flavorful, even more so if you make it a day ahead.

What to serve with this very comforting pot of soup?  Pumpernickel.  From this recipe.  (Except not done on the grill.  It’s February.  I may be weird, but I’m not crazy.)

Pumpernickel 1

And that’s one fabulous recipe.  You have to order caramel coloring from King Arthur Flour (because you can’t just waltz into the grocery store and expect to find it), but this bread is worth the trouble.

Pumpernickel 2

What we didn’t scarf down with the soup made amazing ham and swiss panini a few days later.   I loved making that bread, and I guarantee you I’ll find any possible excuse to make more.  It’s really delicious.

I’ve had very few positive things to say about winter this year.  I mean, my fingertips are cracked open, the air is so dry.  I’m supposed to be dancing around about this?  But one of the good things about winter is that it’s a great excuse to make soup.  I adore soup.  And bread, too.  Go make some while you still can!


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  1. * Chris says:

    Mmm. Potato soup.
    I am SO over winter, so I can completely relate.

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  2. * cursingmama says:

    I just picked up the Artisan Bread book from my library this week (I waited a long time for it & it is only a 10 day loan so that is a bummer – and the book STINKS like cigarette smoke so I can only deal with it in small doses) and am looking forward to trying some recipes this weekend. I love bread!

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  3. * Cheryl S. says:

    Oh, I absolutely must try both of these! I haven’t yet tried any of those 5-minute breads, but maybe this will get me going.

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  4. * deb says:

    Yea! No bacon in your potato soup. I love bacon and I love its flavor in soup (sometimes…) but I don’t like the way it gets all goooooooey in soup so I’m always happy to see a potato soup recipe that DOESN’T have bacon in it!

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  5. * kmkat says:

    White potatoes or red? I’m guessing red, but I want to make sure — I have a whole bag, plus a bag of carrots and a brand new bag of onions. I’m set for potato soup! Minus the pump bread; I’ll thaw out a loaf of rosemary olive oil artisan bread from the freezer.

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  6. * Guinifer says:

    So what happens to the bread if you don’t have the coloring?

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  7. * bezzie says:

    We had crock pot german potato soup this week. Perfect February eatin’! However, we also used the grill this past weekend too. It was above 35 degrees–that’s grillin’ weather!

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
  8. * kitkatknit says:

    OK so this is the second Sandra Lee reference I’ve seen in two days. Guess even with all the Food Network watching I do, I still have missed her? I love soup!!!

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago

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