The ideal arugula to use for this soup is the tougher, wilder kind; the fragile hydroponic type is too delicate for this dish. Serves: 8
- ¾ pound medium-size potatoes (about 2 potatoes), peeled and cut into ½-inch-thick slices
- 1 pound arugula (2 to 3 large bunches), preferably not hydroponic or “baby”
- ½ cup dices (½-inch) day-old Italian bread with crusts removed
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
- ½ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1 whole peperoncino (dried hot red pepper) or ½ teaspoon peperoncino (crushed red pepper)
- 7 cups water
- In a deep, heavy 4- to 5-quart pot, combine the potatoes and water. Salt the water lightly and bring to a boil. Adjust the level of heat to medium-high and cook the potatoes, covered until they are tender but still hold their shape, about 18 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut off the thick stems from the arugula and wash the leaves in cool water to remove all sand and grit, changing the water if necessary. Drain the arugula well and cut into 2-inch lengths.
- Stir the arugula and bread into the pot and let boil for another 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the garlic and peperoncino and cook, stirring, until the garlic is golden, about 3 minutes.
- Scrape the contents of the skillet into the soup pot and stir well. If using a dried whole pepper, remove it. Season the soup to taste wand serve in warm bowls, sprinkled with grated cheese and drizzled with more extra virgin olive oil.
Photo by Sharon K via Flickr used with CC Attribution, Non Commercial, Share Alike license
- Red potatoes
- Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Wash and scrub potatoes well.
- Place on a baking sheet with ¾ cups of water, cover in tin foil and bake for 30 min at 500 degree oven on bottom rack. Test for doneness by inserting a knife and making sure it goes through easily.
- Let cool for 5 minutes, then press with the bottom of a cup, until mashed flat, about ½” tall.
- Toss with lots of olive oil, making sure the oil goes in the nooks and crannies of each potato.
- Put back in the 500 degree oven for 15 min in top rack. Switch to bottom rack for another 15 min, until really brown and crispy.
- Sprinkle with fresh parsley if available.
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen. Photo by Mike via Flickr used with CC Attribution, Non Commercial, Share Alike license
Eating this dish we’re instantly transported back to Berlin and all those great memories. We set out to recreate this soup and our version is ironically adapted from “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone” by Deborah Madison. Leave out the sausage if you don’t eat animals, substitute olive oil for butter if you’re vegan.
- 3 large or 6 medium leeks, finely chopped, white parts only
- 1½ pounds Yellow Finn or Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed well
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1 medium fresh pre-cooked smoked sausage (Frankfurter Würstel / Wiener) sliced in ½” pieces
- Water and a little (optional) milk
- Fresh croutons (toast some baguette slices with olive oil)
- Fresh chives chopped finely for garnish
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil for garnish
- Salt & black pepper
- Chop the leeks in half and cut into small half moons then set in water to soak
- Quarter the potatoes length-wise then slice them thinly
- Melt the butter in a wide soup pot or dutch oven, add the leeks and potatoes and cook over low heat covered for 10 minutes
- Add 7 cups of water or a 50:50 mixture of water and fresh vegetable stock and 1½ teaspoons of salt, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer partially covered for about 35 minutes (until the potatoes are soft and falling apart)
- Blend thoroughly, taste and season for salt and pepper. Add a little milk or cream just to add a bit of richness and body and add more water if the soup is too thick.
- Serve with crouton, chopped chive, sausage, and a drizzle of very good olive oil.