Showing posts with label potato basil soup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label potato basil soup. Show all posts

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I think it must still be cold because this has been soup week. Did you see Krista's Monday post? Yum!!!!!

I've wanted soup all month. That's why I shared a shrimp soup recipe a few weeks ago.

This week's, POTATO BASIL, is especially hearty because of the potatoes and the cheese. It's gluten-free but not dairy-free. To make it, I had to embrace my Cuisinart. Now, I have to admit that I have never been that comfortable with a chopper/dicer/cut-off-your-finger type machine. I like an old-fashioned grater. I like a knife and a cutting board. [Yes, I know you can probably cut off your finger with either of these tools, but I haven't yet.]

This recipe required some blending and I wanted to get over my fear. [Just so you know, I've pulled out the Cuisinart for a number of other recipes since. It's becoming my near and dear friend. Wheee!]

But I digress. At first, I pulled out the contraption and looked at it from all angles. It has this plastic thing that doesn't look like it fits on the top. It has blades and more blades. And it has this fierce looking tool that whirrs around the bottom of the blender. Having lost the device's operating instructions in either move 2 or move 3 a few years back, and being too lazy to go online to find the manual, I tried to process the moves I'd made before to put the Cuisinart together. I closed my eyes. Truly, I did. And I held out the pieces one by one to see if muscle memory would help. It did. I figured out where the fiercing looking tool went. I realized I didn't need the grater, slicer, dicer this time and breathed easier. I snapped the tool into place and stared at the top again. Did the spout go on the left or right? If I pushed too hard and got it wrong, I'd snap off the plastic do-hickeys that held it in place. I went slowly (unusual for me). And finally heard a click. A proper click. I'd done it. Conquered my fear. The machine was going to work. Except now I had to dissemble it to put in the basil (potatoes, etc.)

Slowly, deliberately, I removed the top (trying to imprint in my brain which way the spout went) and started the recipe. Needless to say, my husband was giggling behind my back, so of course I was having vindictive thoughts about not giving him a taste of my soup! (Cue: wicked laughter).

But in the end, I made the soup, I gave my husband a taste, and found out I had a great soup on my hands...I mean, in my kitchen.




2 cups fresh basil leaves

2 pounds large Yukon Gold potatoes

1 cup half-and-half

2 cups 2% milk (you can use regular or 1%, if desired)

¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon of salt (for boiling water)

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon white pepper

extra Parmesan for garnish


Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 tablespoon salt. At the same time fill a 3- to 4-quart bowl with ice water.

While water is heating, cut the potatoes into quarters.

Add the basil leaves to the boiling water. Cook for 15 seconds. NO MORE. Remove the basil with a slotted spoon and plunge the leaves into the ice water. This SETS the bright green color. Drain and set the leaves aside. DO NOT pour off the boiling water.

Add cut potatoes to the same pot of boiling water and bring to a boil.

Cook for 20-25 minutes until tender. [A fork should slide easily in and out.] Drain well. Return the potatoes to the pot and cover, heat off.

Meanwhile, place the basil in a food processor and puree.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the half-and-half and cheese until it simmers. Add the hot cream to the basil.

With a handheld mixer, beat the hot potatoes in the pot until they are broken up. [You can also use a masher or drop them in the Cuisinart and return them to the pot afterwards.] Slowly add the basil cream, salt, pepper, then beat until smooth.

[Note, right at this moment, you have fabulous mashed potatoes. You can skip the next step--adding milk—and serve as a side dish. I forgot to take a picture. Oops!]

Now, proceeding to make the soup. Add the 2 cups of milk. If the potato soup needs to be reheated, cover and cook gently over low heat until warm. [A few minutes.]

Pour into 6 serving bowls and sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese.

Serve hot.

If you want a pdf of this recipe to download, click here: POTATO BASIL SOUP RECIPE

A SNEAK PREVIEW and BOOK TRAILER of LOST AND FONDUE is now up on my website. Click here. If you'd like to know more about A Cheese Shop Mystery series and want to download a few other recipes from me (on recipe cards), click on this link to my website: Avery Aames. I've posted recipes in the "morsels" section. There's lots of other fun stuff, as well.

And sign up for the mailing list to get in on the next contest...coming every two weeks as I approach the launch of L&F in May. Latest winners include: Mary B. and Caitlyn H. Congrats!

Say cheese!