Definitely a Winter soup this one. Potatoes, onion, bacon and cheese - all good things that are warming, filling and go together beautifully. Tie that all together with rosemary and saffron and you know that whilst it may be cold outside Summer will soon not be far away . . .
- Pop a pan on to heat with some butter and olive oil.
- Pop in half an onion, a clove of garlic (peeled and roughly chopped) and a slice of bacon cut into pieces.
- Leave to cook on a medium heat until all is cooked and the onion is translucent and brown at the edges.
- Add in a couple of potatoes, peeled and chopped, and fry a bit longer stirring occasionally until the potato absorbs the flavours and begin to brown at the edges as well.
- Pour over a pint and a half of vegetable stock , bring to a gentle boil and pop in a sprig of rosemary and a pinch of saffron stamens.
Now rosemary is pretty strong and can easily overpower everything else so keep tasting the soup and as soon as you think the flavour is getting too strong fish out the rosemary. My sprig was about three inches long and it was in for about 5 minutes but it all depends on your plant. If at the end you do not think the rosemary flavour is strong enough, just put the sprig back in again whilst you warm the soup up again.
- Continue to simmer gently until the potatoes are soft - say another ten minutes or so.
- take the soup off the heat and allow to cool for a minute or so then blend almost smooth.
- Put the soup back into the saucepan along with a handful of chopped up brie and reheat gently but do not boil because the soup will go tough and stringy (or so I have read, it has never happened to me).
I left the rind on the brie for texture and because I think it looks pretty this way.
- Check for seasoning adding a little salt and black pepper if required and once warmed through serve.
I had some bacon in the fridge so this is obviously not a vegetarian soup . . . but it could easily be, just miss out the bacon and add some celery instead.
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