Sunday, November 16, 2014

Lemon Thyme Creme Fraiche Potato Soup

Today I'm going to tell you a love story. Who doesn't enjoy a good love story? It has to do with potato soup. Oh the possibilities when potato soup is involved. Alright it's about more than potato soup. Really it's about a love that came together over a mutually shared admiration of food (and the outdoors) and the food that continues to sustain that relationship. Because if it's about love, of course it's about food and Blake. Don't worry I didn't forget my husband.

When Blake and I began dating we got to know one another over shared meals, which included dates at restaurants, cooking together, and watching the food network. This is not different then most relationships begin. Whether we are cooking or eating out, food gives us the opportunity to put the brakes on all the noise and chaos that fills our everyday. Sharing meals allows us to have conversations, in a world where conversations have become fewer and further between. Over each meal Blake and I learned more about the other's vision of life and learned that our visions were much the same. Those meals began everything.

Those meals and weekend adventures in the great outdoors still sustain everything. With Blake at law school and me at work, time is limited. Twice a week we drop everything to hang out. Date night and hiking Sundays are sacred in this house. For date night this week, we went to a wine/beer paired walking dinner. Six courses each paired with a wine or beer from a different place. We had conversations. As it does every week, it reminded me how much I like talking to Blake, especially over an excellent meal. Yes, I still like talking to him. This is good news.

During this meal we had velvety potato soup with a dollop of lemon thyme creme fraiche. I loved it so much I immediately went home and attempted to recreate it. This soup is thick and hearty. Perfect for a cold night. The lemon creme fraiche brightens it up. The chard adds some texture. It's a way to eat a bowl of mashed potatoes for dinner and call it a meal. This soup is just one part of my favorite love story.

Lemon Thyme Creme Fraiche Potato Soup
Serves 6

1 head of garlic, roasted
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 sweet onion, sliced
6 medium sized yukon gold potatoes, diced
4 cups chicken broth
8 ounces creme fraiche (sour cream can be subbed)
Zest of one lemon + 3 tablespoons juice
2 teaspoons thyme
1 bunch swiss chard, chopped
1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
1 teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Chop off the top of the garlic to expose the cloves and wrap the garlic in foil. Roast for 40 minutes. If you don't have the extra 40 minutes, you can mince the garlic and cook it with the onion and potatoes. Roasted garlic has a caramelized sweet flavor that's pretty magical so I recommend it.

Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat. Add your potatoes and onion and cook stirring occasionally until the onion has softened, 7-8 minutes. Add your chicken broth and increase heat to high to bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat to medium. Simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, in a small bowl whisk together creme fraiche, lemon zest and juice, and thyme.

Using an immersion blender or regular blender puree the soup. I wanted mine smooth but you can blend yours to your prefered consistency.

Once pureed, add back to the dutch oven over medium heat. Mix in half the creme fraiche mixture and greens. Stir until the greens have cooked down. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche on top.

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