Saint Patrick’s Day is this week, in Chicago that means a celebration with an Irish party and parade!!! St Joseph’s Day is this week, in Chicago that means another celebration with a procession and an Italian St. Joseph’s Table, a table of abundance to be shared. The Story Week Festival of Writers on Genre Bending (I’m a master at this) is this week celebrating writers, and Joyce Carol Oates for starters on Monday!!!! That means I want to be there!
The daylight savings time change was this week, meaning everything is an hour earlier and it’s still pretty damp and bleak. Last weekend we had our annual spring teaser, people were out in shorts… but today is the kind of day I want to pull my comforter over my head and not come out of bed. But instead, I made Cozy Comfort Italian Potato Soup to warm my bones, do this blog, and went to the talks!
Everyone’s happy with this soup. It honors the Irish with potatoes.
The Italians with warm- colorful-fresh vegetables.
And I get Cozy Comfort Italian Potato Soup, learn that Genre Bending is au courant and inspiration from Joyce Carol Oates!
Cozy Comfort Italian Potato Soup
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
10 fingerling potatoes, scrubbed, skins on and sliced
2 turnips, peeled and sliced (who of your friends will be able to figure out this secret ingredient?) adding sweetness and fewer calories
5 cups low sodium vegetable broth
Freshly ground white pepper
1 fennel bulb, chopped into cubes
2 baby zucchini, chopped into cubes
2 carrots, chopped into cubes
2 small potatoes, chopped into cubes ( Ryan’s suggestion and a good one!)
Chives, cut into tiny pieces with scissors
Sauté onion in large skillet with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Add sliced fingerling potatoes and turnips and sauté for 5 minutes. In a saucepan bring the vegetable broth to a boil.
Transfer the sautéed onion, potatoes and turnips to a large stockpot and add boiling broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30-40 minutes.
Strain the onion, potato, turnip mixture, set aside broth. In food processor blend the potato mixture with a cup of the cooked broth and blend until the mixture reaches the desired creamy density.You may have to do this a few times depending on the size of the food processor.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Freshly ground pepper goes a long way.
Steam cubed fennel bulb, zucchini, potatoes, and carrots in about an inch of boiling water, covered, until al dente, about 3-4 minutes. Drain. Add salt and remaining olive oil.
Pour the soup into bowls and top with the chopped vegetables, sprinkle with cut chives.