I got this recipe from the latest issue of Jamie mag, which has a lovely piece featuring soup recipes shared by various food writers. This particular recipe calls for baked potatoes; I was using up the flagging veggies that were languishing in my kitchen, so rather than baked spuds I boiled up some baby potatoes that were in need of eating (the eagle-eyed among you will pick up on those last few words as an excuse that I regularly employ to eat when it is not strictly necessary). I really wasn't bothered pulling out the kitchen scales for this one, and I think with soup recipes it's not essential. Along with the potatoes, the rind of a block of parmesan adds a wonderful depth of flavour. I had been saving a load of them in the fridge and only threw them out recently - I get the impression that they are to be frozen rather than merely refrigerated. There was some parmesan hanging out in the fridge, anyhow, but I think that I shall be making a little foodie new years ressie to be more organised in that respect.
So: chop up your onion, melt a good big lump of butter in your soup pot and then let the onion soften in that for about ten minutes. Pop the potatoes and parmesan rind in there for five minutes.
Add 1.25 litres of stock - I used chicken - and let it all simmer away for 30 minutes. Before you crack it all into your blender to whizz it up into velvety smoothness, don't forget to take out that parmesan rind. And, of course, season away goodo.
Oh would you look at it! The richness of it; you can thin it down with stock, but I found that a great deal of the joy of this soup was the indulgent thickness of it.
Now, the recipe says that you can top if off with sour cream, chives, cheese, bacon - think of the kind of things that you might put on a steaming baked spud right out of the oven. I am not entirely ignoring that this is January, however. I wasn't up for buying something that was going to add calories to my soup or require traipsing to the shop. When I chopped the rind off the parmesan in the fridge, I contemplated putting the remaining parmesan on top of the soup. Then I ate it. Out to the garden with me for some rosemary, and it added a fittingly January-esque virtuousness to the dish: zero euro, fat free and bursting with flavour.