Monday, October 13, 2014

Potato and Corn Soup

As the temperature dips, out come my ladles. It's soup time. This season of cold days invokes a steady stream of hearty soups. Lunches seems more satisfying. The 'soup n salad' mantra works better as the former fills me up and the latter takes me over the edge. I would like to think I gravitate towards thick hearty soups. Something about resting your spoon on it rather than in it. Then again, I love a French onion soup with its thick bread and cheese crust. I love the spicy tum yums of Thailand. It's a worldwide gravitational pull!!

Today's soup is from South America. A wonderful amalgam of potatoes, yams, corn and cilantro. Yes! Cilantro, which imparts an unusual flavor, is the only herb I add. As the potatoes and yams cook, they thicken and flavor the broth. Corn takes but a few minutes. And the milk adds a touch of creaminess without all the calories. Best of all are the silky cubes of avocado. Avocado lends a buttery end note to this herb and vegetable soup.

MAKES 4 bowlfuls

2 Russet Potatoes
2 medium sized Yams
1 cup Corn, fresh or frozen
I Onion
2 cloves Garlic
3 tablespoons Cilantro +1 tablespoon for garnish 
1 tablespoon Olive oil
4 cups Chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
1/2 cup 2% Milk
1 Avocado 

Wash and peel potatoes and yams. Cut into small 3/4 inch cubes.

Cut onion into small dice.

Peel garlic and slice into thin slivers.

Chop cilantro finely.

Heat oil in a deep saucepan.

Add onion and garlic to hot oil and sweat for 3-4 minutes.

Add potato and yam cubes, cilantro, chicken stock, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
Lower flame to medium and cook uncovered for 15 minutes or till starches are almost done.

Add corn and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.

Pour in the milk and stir to mix.

Using a potato masher, crush potatoes and yams to thicken the soup. Leave some starches intact for toothsome texture.

Cook soup down for another 5 minutes.

Just before serving soup, dice avocado into small pieces.

Ladle soup into bowls.

Top with avocado and cilantro.


I like Russets because they melt and thicken the soup as they cook. In this recipe I used small Red Bliss potatoes which I left unpeeled. Peeled...unpeeled.. Your choice.

Cilantro gives the soup it's distinctive flavor. Parsley could be an adequate substitute if you are averse to cilantro.

To me soup is the balm that soothes the soul. More so in winter than any other season. I sit before a steaming bowl of goodness. The aroma of freshly cut cilantro fills the kitchen. My bowl is chockful with bits of potato, yam, corn, cilantro, flecks of cilantro and avocado. Green, orange, white, beige, yellow.....this color palette is happiness in a bowl.