Nana Helen’s potato soup
This is one of my favourite recipes – it brings back some of my best memories, along with being one of the most delicious soups ever. You know that go-to comfort food that always warms you from the inside out and makes you feel like everything will be okay? Yah, this is it for me.
My Nana Helen was an amazing woman. Her Polish family sure could make magic with very few ingredients. In fact, the only ‘spices’ in her cabinet were salt, pepper and garlic powder, and yet she was quite a good cook. I miss my Nana and I’m glad I learned a few of her recipes, so this one’s for you, Nana Helen.
I’m going to share this recipe with you, and then go enjoy a nice big bowl of this myself – I hope you will too.
What you need:
What you do:
Dice the onion and start sautéeing it in the butter over medium heat in your soup pot. You want to go past caramelizing it and almost to black. This will give the soup a hearty flavour and an even colour as you don’t use a stock for the base.
Once the onion is deeply browned – just shy of burned – start sprinkling flour into the butter, like creating a roux. Keep mixing. A good roux isn’t hard to make, it’s close to equal parts of flour and fat, and at that sweet spot of the perfect balance it’s sort of like a paste. Just keep adding flour and blending into the butter/onion mixture until you think the oil cannot absorb one more bit of flour.
This roux/paste will burn quickly so don’t putz around with it too much H.ave the water on hand and start adding it by the cup, stirring constantly. You want the water and the roux to blend well. You can add a bit more flour at this point, and then keep stirring. I like to see it on the thick side.
While mixing in the water you’re also deglazing the bottom of the soup pot from all of that lovely fried onion residue. That’s the flavour!
Once the roux is fully liquified, fill the pot with the diced potatoes, throw in about 2-3 tablespoons of salt and some pepper, to taste. The starch from the potatoes will also help to thicken the soup.
Now let the soup simmer. It can be served as soon as the potatoes are nice and soft – or leave it on your stove to boil down and become even more flavourful within the next day or two.
It’s a bit thick and can get a bit dark, depending on the darkness of the sautéed onion. If you boil too much water off, just top up the pot with more and let boil.