You know that person who goes through life forever narrowly missing out on the prize? The one who, always beaten by some less deserving individual, only ever makes it to second place? Perhaps you are that person. In which case you might like to know that there is someone who has, like you, suffered the same trials and hardships. Someone who has been perpetually taunted by the Gods and subjected to their whims. You probably already know who I’m alluding to. But then again, with your luck, you may not. That someone is: The Potato.
For too long has the potato been sidelined by the roast, the sausages, the battered cod, the gaggling hoard of fish in the fish pie, and the supercilious steak. The potato no longer kids itself about its “fond” supporters: we all know that the potato is championed only for the complementary blandness it offers to the “tasty” articles of a meal.
Unable to break out of its role as a Side, for a long time the potato submitted itself to its designated office. Its self-esteem plummeted to such tragic levels, that it began to relish the opportunity to mop up the dregs of the roast dinner. The battered cod, forever coming out on top, simply doesn’t give a cr** about sweating its oils out onto a loyal army of chips. But, like true patriots, these once crisp cadets deceive themselves into believing that their sogginess is the sacrifice one has to make for Cod and Country.
Do you remember that pretty(-ish) girl at school, the one who always hung around with her decidedly less pretty friend to make herself look good? Well, the potato was sadly that less pretty friend. The potato used to look up to the roast, the cod, the sausages. It claimed to be “content” in the margins, just outside the spotlight.
But the potato has had enough. Taste has changed. You know what? That pretty-ish girl at school is no longer “the pretty one”. The tables have well and truly turned. The potatoey pillars that have for so long held up the cod’s reign are beginning to shift, and the sausage’s smug smiles are wobbling in the face of the mash. That earthy “just-got-out-of-soil” look is gaining momentum in the world of vegetable beauty, and the spuds are taking the spotlight. Just think of those slight bumps and curves that define the potato. And the maturer potatoes, better still – those sprouting growths that appear as if by magic… mmmm.
No longer does the potato have to linger in the shadows. Here’s a great recipe where the potato can finally take centre stage – a deliciously thick and creamy potato soup, and wonderfully easy to make, too!
(It really does taste better if you get organic, locally grown potatoes, fresh from the ground).
2 large onions, finely chopped
675g potatoes, peeled and diced
1.75 litres hot chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you prefer)
50ml whole milk
Salt and ground pepper
- Melt the butter over a low heat in a big pan, add the onions, give them a good stir and cover, leaving to sweat for around 5 minutes.
- Add the potatoes to the onions, grind some salt and black pepper into the pan, and stir. Cover once again, and leave for 10 minutes.
- Add the stock, boil, and then leave to simmer for around 20 minutes.
- When the potatoes feel tender, blend the soup, then reheat. If you want the soup to be a little richer, add some whole milk – make sure not to boil when reheating. If you want a thinner consistency, add some more hot stock/water/milk.
- Pop the soup into your favourite thermos, ready for your winter picnic! Delicious!