Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Soup for a Cold Winters Evening

I hope you enjoy.  This is one of my favorite soups.

Potato Soup
Yield:  Six main course portions

4 large russet potatoes (3.75 lbs)
1 medium yellow or white onion
4 ribs of celery
12 cups chicken stock or broth, seperated
2 bay leaves

1/4 tsp ground white pepper
salt to taste
1 cup heavy cream
For garnish (optional)
2 large carrots
2 1/2 ribs of celery
4 green onions, whites and greens

Peel the potatoes.
Cut the potatoes and vegetables into 1 inch pieces
Combine all vegetables with 8 cups of stock.  The stock should just cover the potato/vegetable mixture.
Add the bay leaves, white pepper and salt as needed.
Bring to boil and reduce the heat so the mixture simmers.
Simmer for 25 - 3o minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Puree the mixture, in batches, in a food processor or blender until smooth (see caution notes at end of recipe)
Strain the mixture back into the soup pot and return to the heat.
 Add the remaining four cups of chicken stock to dilute the mixture to soup consistency.
Add the cup of cream.
Bring to a simmer and adjust seasoning as needed.
The soups is ready to serve.
If you wish to make the optional garnish:
Cut the celery and carrot into matchstick size cuts.
Cut the white of the green onions into 1/4 inch size pieces and combine with the carrot and celery.
Cut the green part of the green onions into 1/2 inch diagonal pieces and reserve separately.
Saute the carrot, celery and green onion mixture in a 1/4 stick of butter until just tender and stir the mixture into the soup.  Allow the soup to simmer for five minutes.  Sprinkle the green onion tops into the soup when ready for service or sprinkle on top of the soup when served.
You do not have to peel the potatoes.  The recipe works well without doing so but it does change the appearance and flavor.
Your can substitute red or white potatoes for the russets.
If you are using canned chicken stock or bouillon crystals or cubes you may not need any salt at all.
The soup is hot.  It will burn you if you are not careful!
If you use a blender to puree the soup you must vent the cap. 
Otherwise the steam will blow the lid off of the blender container and soup will fly everywhere.

Until next time.
Happy Eating
Chef Leslie Bartosh
Faculty Chair Culinary Arts
Alvin Community College
3110 Mustang Road
Alvin, Texas  77511

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A rapidly ascending star

On December 20, 2010 I wrote about some of my stars, students who have gone on and achieved after their schooling at A.C.C..  One of "my stars" Pat, sent me an email this week.  In his email Pat updated me on some career changes in his life, very positive I might add.  He also passed on some very exciting news about his catering company.  His company, Southern Elegance was voted "Best Caterer" in the 2nd Annual Friendswood/Pearland Journal contest. 
Having had Pat in class and knowing first hand his enthusiasm, drive and desire to excel, this award comes as no surprise.  The only surprise is that it took so long for other people to come to recognize his level of expertise.

Way to go Pat! 

Until Next Time

Happy Eating
Chef Leslie Bartosh
Faculty Chair/Culinary Arts
Alvin Community College
3110 Mustang Road
Alvin, Texas 77511