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An Introduction to Potato Soup

Potato soup is a traditional and classic dish, although there are also plenty of modern interpretations of this timeless favorite. If you like potatoes, you will love potato soup, since there are recipes for all palates.

There are creamy potato soup recipes as well as chunky ones, there are potato soups which are supposed to be served piping hot, and there are chilled ones too. Some make great dinners because they are rich, creamy, and hearty, and others are more simple, perhaps better suited to a light lunch or an appetizer course. There are potato soups featuring meat, bacon, poultry, fish, or seafood, and there are vegetarian ones too.

How Easy Can Potato Soup Be?

Potato soup can be as easy and chopping a couple of potatoes and boiling them in stock or another kind of seasoned liquid. It is up to you whether or not to puree the finished soup.

You can add other vegetables to potato soup recipes, such as beans, broccoli, peas, corn, mushrooms, leeks, onion, or garlic, or you can add meat, bacon, or poultry for a meatier flavor. Some of the liquid in your soup could be wine, milk, cream or coconut milk instead of water or stock, and you can even make sweet potato soups with cream and brown sugar, and serve these as desserts. The sky is the limit with potato soup recipes.

Shopping for the Best Potatoes

Potatoes are one of the most popular vegetables in the United States and almost fifty pounds of potatoes are consumed per person every year. This includes baking potatoes, fingerling potatoes, purple ones and new potatoes, amongst other varieties. Potatoes help to regulate the metabolism, converting food into energy, and they are rich in vitamin B6. Potatoes are low in calories and high in potassium which is good for retaining calcium in the body and for cardiovascular health.

A lot of people mistakenly believe potatoes are fattening but this is not true. The sour cream and butter than many people pile on to their potatoes is the reason for possible weight gain, not the potatoes themselves. If they were to swap the sour cream and butter for plain yogurt with green onions and fresh herbs, they would discover this to be true.

Choose smooth, firm, clean potatoes and reject anything with rotten areas, skinned areas, cracks, bruises, or gashes. Smell the potatoes if you can, because if they smell moldy or musty this might indicate decay. Never buy shriveled or sprouted potatoes. This happens when they are stored in sunlight and they will turn green eventually. Green potatoes contain solanine which is toxic.

Some potatoes are washed and others have earth on them so scrub all your potatoes before using them, unless you are peeling them. You can use a potato brush or a dish-washing brush. A potato brush is best for removing the earth though. Potatoes should be stored between 45 and 55 degrees F, somewhere dark with good ventilation. Before using potatoes to make potato soup recipes, cut out the eyes and remove any nubs, then scrub them well.

How to Serve Potato Soup

Potato soup can be served as a drink, a snack, or a complete meal. If you are serving a pureed soup, you can choose to serve it out of a mug or bowl. You will need to eat textured or chunky soups with a spoon.

Garnish your soup with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche if you like, as well as some chopped fresh herbs or whole herb sprigs, or a pinch of your favorite spice. Croutons work well with pureed soups. A pureed soup is thick enough for the croutons to float on top.

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