Fake-tato Soup, yo!
Last spring my dad was ill and had a hard time keeping food in his belly. He lost over 40 pounds in a few months. Happily everything’s sorted out now and he’s doing a lot better. Yay, dad!
The reason I bring this up is that my dad would like to eat only pizza and mac n’ cheese for every meal. Most guys who have gone feral rely on the starch diet. And sketchy protein sources. The only problem with my dad was he was on a strict diet and had to actually eat good food or he would actually croak. This was not enough to convince him to adjust his diet, so my siblings and I threw all of our foodie skills into making food that he would eat instead of stick in the fridge to rot.
Enter the potato soup. It’s a comforting, warm, tasty meal that my dad would absolutely eat. But not completely nutritious as he needed. So I converted that to this fake-tato soup recipe. He yummed it up and kept asking for more. My mom pointed the mom-finger at me and ordered me not to tell him what was actually in the soup or he might stop eating it on principle.
So yeah, I lied to my dad and he ate good food and eventually got better. (Yes, my siblings also helped by making yum food too!) You really can’t tell that it’s less than half potatoes. In fact, I often add a roasted fennel bulb, carrots, mushrooms, or other veggies just to make it better. If you leave out the cheese, it’s also vegan I suppose, and it’s easy to adjust for less salt if you’re into that.
3 medium potatoes
6 cloves garlic
1 bouillon cube (for 2 cups)
2 cans cannellini beans
1/3 cup gorgonzola
1/3 cup shredded cheddar
1/4 cup olive oil
Water (is this even an ingredient I need to list?)
1) You’ll probably like to use a medium/large pot for more splash room. Put olive oil on medium heat. Chop garlic cloves into chunks and toss into oil. If you’re using bullion from cubes (I like Knorr vegetarian bouillon), break up your cube(s) and toss in too. A little pepper, and maybe salt unless your bullion tends to be salty already.
2) Cube the potatoes, skin and all (that’s the best part!) to about the size of your fingertips. The smaller they are, the faster they cook down. Toss them in the pot and stir. Let them get hot, stirring every few minutes. You want them to get coated in oil and just start to brown up a bit.
3) As soon as the garlic starts to brown, pour enough water to drown the potatoes. Cover and leave this to simmer on medium low heat until the potatoes start to break up. Stir it once in a while of course.
4) Here’s the fun part. I use a blender with a glass body and do it in batches because it’s hot and messy. I’m sure you can find your own way, and/or use a food processor. Put about half a can of cannellini beans and 1/4th of the potatoes (with simmering water) into the blender and top up with about ¾ cup of water. When you blend this, it’s going to get a little thick, so gauge how much water you need to make it as stiff or liquid as you’d like it to be. Then pour it into a waiting bowl or pot while your main pot is being emptied. After four batches of this, you should have an empty pot to put your potato and bean puree into again. (If you are adding roasted fennel, carrots, or other cooked veggies, you want to put them in during this stage, too.)
5) Put back on a medium low heat for about 15 minutes. The soup is going to thicken up a little more. This is where you’re going to taste for salt and seasonings because the beans really reduce this a lot. You can also add your cheese at this point so it can melt throughout. I honestly don’t always put in cheese at all because it’s fine without it.
Once the cheese is melted and stirred in, you’re good to go. It’s sometimes nice to toss in a little fresh shredded parsley for flavor when serving. Or a spritz of lemon juice if that’s what you’re into.
And if you’re making this for someone who might be outraged by healthy food, like kids or my dad, feel free to lie to them. Yes, it’s potato soup. Like runny mashed potatoes. I promise. Yum!