Oh how I love alchemizing spontaneous recipes out of a) Whatever’s available in the pantry or b) whatever’s urgently in need of being used before it spoils in the pantry.
Enter Potato-Pickle Soup. A concoction born of a few pounds of potatoes in our basement so ripe, they were sporting limbs, not eyes. Add to that a mayo-sized jar of pickles that had been residing in our fridge for many many moons, plus some fresh parsley we have on hand and viola – some of the creamiest and most flavorful soup Chef Bill and I have had in a long time.
The recipe is super easy. I imagine the only challenge you may have is the part where the pureeing takes place. My food processor is medium-sized, making it necessary to do in batches. Worth the effort though. I let this velvety soup rest overnight in the refrigerator and heated two bowls for Chef Bill and me. Let’s just say the Jewish kid in him was thrilled to pieces. A healthy and gluten-free way to have the flavors present on a Jewish deli platter tap-dance over the taste buds without wreaking havoc calorically.
Potato-Pickle Soup has virtually no fat, but I drizzled Chef Bill’s with deep-green rivulets of extra virgin olive oil, which only added to the intriguing soft palate of greens this soup is imbued with. Don’t despair if you don’t have elderly potatoes or pickles hanging around the pantry. This works just as well if they’re brand new Bon Appetit!
2 pounds of potatoes, washed and quartered
1 32-ounce box of chicken or vegetable stock
About 1 cup pickle slices or spears, plus at least a half-cup of pickle juice
1/2 cup parsley leaves, tightly packed
Optional: Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
In a large stock pot, bring the stock to a boll and add quartered potatoes. Lower heat to a gentle simmer and cook covered until fork-tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and add pickles and parsley to the stock pot and stir together the ingredients. In batches, puree contents of the stock pot, transferring each pureed batch to another pot or a mixing bowl. When finished, either parcel into Tupperware containers for the refrigerator or freezer or return to the stove and heat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently so the soup doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
Pour into bowls, finish with a bit of olive oil if desired, and garnish with a sprig of fresh parsley.