Yay new blog! And, knife cut practice yields tasty potato soup!
Hello blogosphere - I am so happy to be starting my very first blog and posting about something that I am very passionate about - FOOD!
I just started last week in the culinary certificate program at Kendall College in Chicago, IL. It will take one year and during this year, I’d like to do at least one post every few days about what I am learning and anything else that interests me. Since I live in one of the best foodie cities in the world, I’ll also post about the restaurants I eat at and how I am doing in my weight loss journey.
So last week I learned about food safety (my wife Margaret was thrilled) and knife cuts. I received a 9 out of 10 on my food safety quiz, but only a 7 out of 10 on my knife cuts. The chef at Kendall told me that my cuts were rectangles and asked me if they should be square. The answer was “Yes Chef”. My classmates did not do too much better and my lab partner also got a 7.
Obviously I needed some practice so I went to Costco to get the largest sack of potatoes ever. On Sunday night I got to work practicing my julienne cuts (but with potatoes they are called allumettes), which are 1/8” x 1/8” x 2” and after a few hours (and 6 potatoes later) my cuts were looking better. I also wanted to work on my onion cuts so I diced an onion (and I found out if you cut with the grain, it doesn’t make you cry as much or at all).
After practicing, I had the basic ingredients already prepped to make an awesome soup that Margaret found at food.com. Because the recipe calls for cubed potatoes, I brunoised my juliennes (which just means I made the 2” strips into 1/8” cubes) and minced (finely chopped) my diced onions, as the recipe calls for. I also used chicken stock (not broth) because it creates a thicker base for the soup. I also used Chef Paul Prudhomme’s’ Magic Seasoning Salt that I bought on a recent trip to New Orleans after a culinary tour (which may be a future post in itself). This soup was super easy to make and during the last five minutes, I also added small stamp-sized slices of Canadian Bacon and then when it was done, garnished with fresh green onion and the best homemade croutons from the french bakery “La Boulangerie” across the street from my condo (a large bag is only $1.50!)
Margaret and I thoroughly enjoyed it and I hope you will too. It’s a perfect, easy soup for a cold winter’s night. And like the title says, it tastes exactly like the potato soup at Panera.
Panera’s Cream Cheese Potato Soup
Prep Time: 15 mins Total Time: 1 hrs Servings: 4-6
Ingredients 4 cups chicken broth 4 cups peeled and cubed potatoes 1/4 cup minced onions 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt 1/4 teaspoon white pepper 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper 1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, cut into chunks
Combine broth, potatoes, onion, and spices. Boil on medium heat until potatoes are tender. Smash a few of the potatoes to release their starch for thickening. Reduce to low heat. Add cream cheese. Heat, stirring frequently, until cheese melts.