Bitter, disgusting winter weather plus a latent cold? I wanted soup, of course, but not the usual suspects — chicken noodle, tom yum goong or any others in their brothy company. I wanted something hearty, but silky; starch-laden but still brightly seasoned and flavorful. Wandering through Fairway, mittens in pockets, I decided potato soup would be just the thing, but that I’d have to do some thinking to leaven the blandness. I eventually picked up some peas, a pair of lemons and a bunch of thyme, ingredients my mother likes to use in a summery buttermilk soup.
It was delicious, everything I’d hoped it would be. Even J., whose status quo on starch is a general wariness, agreed — that is, if a gleamingly empty bowl is any signifier.
This soup is painfully simple to make: simmer cut potatoes in homemade stock — I used lamb and chicken in a 2:1 ratio — with garlic until tender; puree; whisk in sour cream, fresh thyme and lemon zest; and finally, just before serving, stir in the peas. The yield in the recipe below makes dinner (and lunch the following) for two, although I’ll admit J. and I padded our own dinner with bread and tomato confit.
Potato Soup with Peas
6 c stock
4 medium-size Yukon gold potatoes
1.5 tbsp fresh thyme
1 clove garlic
2.3 c sour cream
8.5 oz. frozen or canned peas (thawed, if frozen)
zest of 2 lemons
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp lemon juice (optional)
In a large saucepan, heat stock until steaming. Peel and cut potatoes into 1″ chunks, and add to stock. Mince garlic and add. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. In a blender or food processor, puree soup until smooth. Return to saucepan and whisk in sour cream, thyme and lemon zest. Heat on low until soup is lightly steaming. Stir in peas (and lemon juice, if using), add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.