Sometimes there are just those days when you need a good hot soup to curl up on your sofa and switch off while spooning the warm, tasty creaminess inhaling the wonderful aromas steaming from your bowl. This soup exactly meant for those days. You just toss all the vegs in a pot, boil, puree, stir and everything is ready to unwind.
The basis is a creamy potato soup that is made much lighter and more exciting by the chicory, lemon and celery, pureed in and the crispy sugar snap bites that keep popping up in your bowl. The dried tarragon and fresh parsley add the extra aromas that just makes this dish a small bowl of perfection.
For vegetable stock I use an alternative basis (not the cubes or self cooked), a “herb” mix of dried carrots, parsnip, leek, onion, marjoram, basil and potatoes and parsley. It basically doesn`t contain anything else then dried vegetables and herbs. You can probably find it in the local natural or biological stores. Where I got it it was quite inexpensive and I really like the idea that you don`t add anything artificial to your soup. With this you only add as much fat in your dishes as you want (bouillon blocks from the store have a fatty basis) but most importantly the taste is not as dominant or overpowering as with the taste enhancer boosted stock cubes, so this leaves more room for the taste of your fresh ingredients. Of course the self-made broth would win in the taste contest, but in case you are not so well prepared or you don`t have the room in your freezer this spice mix could be a good fix.
Ingredients (serves 6-8)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion
- 5 bigger potatoes (750-1000 grams)
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1000 ml vegetable stock or 2 teaspoon natural bouillon powder added to 1000 ml water
- 2-3 celery stalks
- 2 chicory
- 1 teaspoon salt
- black pepper to taste
- 250g sugar snaps
- 150g crème fraiche
- 1/2 lemon
- a bunch of fresh parsley to serve
Peel and chop onion and potatoes. Heat up olive oil in a big soup pan and sauté onion on medium fire for 2 minutes. Add potatoes, bouillon, tarragon and so much water that it is a few centimetres above the potatoes. Bring it to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes. In the meantime cut chicory in half, remove stems and chop coarsely. Set some aside for serving. Chop celery, remove ends of sugar snaps (peel the side off if necessary) and cut lengthwise. Add chicory and celery to the pot, if the water doesn`t cover all the vegs add some more, bring it to a boil and cook for 5 more minutes. Check veggies, if the potatoes are cooked through puree soup with a hand mixer. If the soup is too thick add some extra water. In a separate bowl add some hot soup to crème fraiche and mix, keep adding until you get a warm smooth mixture and tip into the pot (this way you temper it, so it will not shift when you add it to the hot liquids plus you will not get any lumps) Add sugar snaps, lemon and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring it to boil while keep stirring (burns easier after adding crème fraiche) and serve it hot sprinkled with some chopped parsley, chicory and maybe some extra crème fraiche.