Do you have potatoes and onions that need to be eaten up? Maybe they're getting soft, or they have mushy parts, or they've sprouted arms and legs?
You’re in luck, because I have a recipe that calls for potatoes and onions… and that’s it.
It sounds crazy, but it’s a Julia Child recipe, and everything she touches turns to gold. If you don't trust me, trust Julia.
Did you ever read Julie and Julia? It’s about a blogger who made everything in Julia Child’s cookbook in one year. This potato soup recipe is The One that inspired her to start the blog.
In her book, she makes this soup on a whim and she and her husband eat the whole thing until they're scraping the dregs out of their bowls. She realized how happy she was making it (and eating it) and voila! The idea for her blog was born.
After reading a whole chapter of her raving about how marvelous this soup was, I had to try it.
Curiosity also motivated me. Honestly, nothing but potatoes and onions? It’s so out there, it just might work.
(Actually, the recipe calls for leeks, but I don't really cook with leeks, and most of us don't have a drawer full of leeks we need to get rid of. Onions are a better fit for this blog, but either one will work.)
It was quite delicious. I was pretty surprised at not just how much I liked it, but that my soup-hating husband liked it, and my 3-year-old had three servings of it.
It's the salt, I think, that makes this soup so good. I never put enough salt in my food, for some reason. Habit, I suppose. A chef on the food channel said one of the biggest reasons restaurant food tastes so much better than homemade was the salt, because salt lets foods be themselves. I like that. Julia Child understood this, so the recipe calls for a generous amount of it.
This soup didn't give me a transformative experience that changed my life like Julie Powell but I’ve made Julia Child's potato soup three times this year. That should tell you something.
Many food bloggers online have posted this recipe with improvements, like adding cream, or garlic, or lemon juice, or using vegetable broth or chicken broth instead of water. I had potato leek soup with cream at a restaurant once, and mmmmmm. It definitely gives the soup a wonderful touch.
But I'm in love with the simplicity of this recipe, so I'm posting it with just the potatoes and onions. If you want to experiment with the other options, go for it!
In my post about Ten-Minute Green Chili Tacos, I talked about how the easiest recipes take the longest to cook. This is one of those recipes. Literally all you do is peel and chop potatoes and onions and simmer them. It takes 45 minutes, but if you start cooking before you’re hungry, that doesn’t matter.
The best part of this recipe; it uses 4 cups of potatoes and 3 cups of onions. What a brilliant way to get rid of those vegetables before they go bad! No more soggy black-and-brown potatoes in the bottom of a drawer that smell like death; just boil it, and pop what's leftover in your freezer if you need to.
(I quite often put mashed potatoes in the freezer when it looks like my potatoes are on their last leg, so it's nice to put soup in there for a change.)
You can decide on the consistency that you like. Personally, I liked it pureed, but my husband liked it chunky. Just choose the level of mashed that you want and mash accordingly.
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Two-Ingredient Potato Soup