Jack's potato soup

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
4 mediums Idaho potatoes
1 tablespoon Whole wheat flour
5 cups Skim milk
1 cup Water
1 medium Onion
4 Cloves garlic, chopped
3 Shallots
2 Roma tomatoes
1 pinch Rosemary
1 pinch Saffron
1 cup Red vermouth (ideally red vermouth, though white will do if absolutely necessary; do not substitute red wine for the vermouth, however.)
¼ cup White vermouth
2 tablespoons Olive oil (use extra virgin, it smells so much better)

Peel potatoes and dice into cubes the size you want in your soup. Peel and dice onion and shallots; peel and chop garlic.

In a large stockpot, pour the olive oil and heat over medium to low heat (around 4 on an electric range, unless you have copper pots and pans, in which case make it more like 3 or even between 2 and 3). When you smell the aroma that indicates the olive oil has heated, toss in the garlic, onions, shallots, and rosemary. Stir a little bit, enough to cook reasonably evenly, but no need to go nuts. Keep an eye on things untill the onion turns translucent, but don't wait for things to turn brown.

Pour in the skim milk, the water, and the diced potatoes. Cover; increase heat on range in order to bring to a boil. Once it's boiling, reduce heat to low, so that the soup can simmer.

Heat the cup of red vermouth for 10 seconds in the microwave--enough to warm it a little, but not really beyond that. Throw the pinch of saffron into the cup of heated red vermouth. This will soften the strands of saffron. Let stand for 10 minutes or so while the soup simmers. Pour the saffron/vermouth mixture into the soup, making sure you get every last precious saffron strand in. (Be compulsive about this--the stuff is pricey.) Let the soup simmer for another 40 minutes to an hour.

While the soup is simmering, wash the roma tomatoes, cut them in half, and scrape out the seeds with your fingers. Take a cheese grater and place it over a bowl. Run the tomato halves over the largest holes in the grater, with the sliced side facing the holes. This will take the pulp off the tomato skin, but the skin won't go through the holes, so your fingers will be safe, and you'll be left with a skin (which you may eat) and a bowl of just tomato pulp (which is what you'll use in the rest of this recipe).

Once the tomato pulp has been extracted, heat a teflon skillet over low heat, dry, or a small skillet with just enough olive oil or cooking spray on it to keep the dry heat from damaging your pan. Pour in the tomato pulp and the quarter cup white vermouth. Let the pulp cook down a little bit, so that it's no longer a runny liquid, but don't let the pulp burn. What you'll have is a nice tomato puree, with a little vermouth taste giving it a slight kick. Remove from heat.

When the soup is ready, pour it into a bowl, of course. Then take a teaspoon, scoop up some of the tomato puree, and put a dallop in the center of the soup. It will float, and the red puree against the backdrop of the off-white soup (with some reddish hues from the red vermouth, but mostly still white) makes a wonderful presentation. Serve immediately. If you want to really impress people, put a salad plate under the bowl in which you intend to serve the soup. Chop some fresh chives, and sprinkle the pieces around the plate before you set the bowl on it (aiming for the edges, since the bowl will of course cover the center).

Variation,top with diced fresh avocado. Differs from traditional potato soup in that it aims for a thinner, lighter taste, both through the skim milk, lack of butter, and red vermouth.-- Jack Stecher's recipe, stecher@...

Posted to MC-Recipe Digest V1 #365 From: Brenda Adams <adamsfmle@...> Date: Sat, 04 Jan 1997 08:49:26 -0800

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