What did you make for Superbowl Sunday? I made something like, oh, forty potato skins–it seemed like that, at least. As I was scooping out the potato flesh from their skins, I asked myself what in the world I’d do with all the leftover potato guts. A couple days later, I turned it into a soup I think I liked even better than the greasy, heavy appetizers!
Mashed potato soup is such an amazing way to use up leftover mashed potatoes, since the bulk of the recipe is already finished, leaving you to whip up a simple roux and simmer, season a bit, and there you have it–a piping bowl of satisfying potato soup that tastes like it took all day to make.
That’s pretty much turned into my meditation mantra these days, and for good reason: the light, herbaceous, almost-licorice taste of fresh tarragon turns potato soup from a ho-hum Pinterested mommy-blogger recipe into a gourmet dish, bursting with flavor and elegance. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with loaded baked potato Crockpot-type recipes (and they’re totally delicious from time to time), but when you’re looking for something with a bit more simultaneous sophistication, ease and lightness, I’ve got the soup for you!
Tarragon is an herb almost traditionally found almost exclusively in French cuisine (French tarragon, that is; you can also find a Russian variety, but it’s much weaker in flavor), which naturally infuses any dish with a bit of culinary excitement and feeling of indulgence. I wasn’t sure how well it would work in a potato soup, which is traditionally quite heavy and wintry, but I was so, so pleasantly surprised. The sweet tarragon mingled perfectly with the smooth, creamy potatoes, adding a je-ne-sais-quoi that I just adore.
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 large sweet onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1½ cup arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 large leeks (or 3 small), halved and sliced
- ¼ cup grated pecorino romano cheese
- Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
- Sauté the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the leeks and saute until they have softened, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the rice and allow it to absorb any liquids.
- Pour the white wine into the pan and allow it to absorb.
- Add the broth – a ½ cup at a time – allowing each addition be fully absorbed before adding the next.
- Once broth is incorporated, stir in the cheese and serve.