Attention, my little cookies! Want to be a part of next week’s video? I will be featuring a new segment called Smart Cookie Chatter in which I answer all of your questions. The topic this week is “desserts,” but no questions are really off-limits. Submit your questions/comments below or on The Smart Cookie Chatter Page (or you can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org), and your question may be featured in next week’s video! I want to hear your questions!
A very common soup nowadays is good old Baked Potato Soup. You can hardly blame it for being so popular. How could any one not like thick, creamy soup filled with melted cheese and chunks of potato? It’s an obviously delicious soup, but it’s been done so many times. Because I possess such a passionate love for potatoes and because Baked Potato Soup is my favorite, I knew it was time to try a new twist.
This Fontina Potato Soup is sort of like the Italian cousin of the Baked Potato Soup you’ve become accustomed to. Instead of Cheddar or American cheese, this soup has melty* Fontina and tangy Parmesan blended in. Then, instead of chives or scallion, I employ fresh, aromatic Rosemary and Thyme to infuse this soup with wonderful flavors. Of course, with this soup being of Italian heritage, there has got to be garlic. And just for safe measures, strong and tasty shallots join the cast of characters as well. If you make this soup, I ensure you that there will be no shortage of flavor here. After becoming so accustomed to mild and yummy Baked Potato Soup, this kicked up version will give you the wake up call you didn’t know you needed.
Comforting and cheesy, this creamy soup will fill you up with its wonderful richness and warm you from the inside out. When winter calls, Fontina Potato Soup answers. It’s a hearty, filling soup that’s bulked up with potatoes aplenty. I don’t skimp on my taters, you guys. Don’t be fooled by the fact that this is soup; it will fill you up and shoot waves of comfort all the way down to your bones.
If you like traditional Baked Potato Soup, you will love this flavorful, cheesy cousin. Even if you aren’t a fan of the classic version, you’ll find love in a bowl here. It’s so different from what you’re used to, and yet still bears the comforting qualities of traditional Baked Potato Soup. When you crave creamy, cheesy, warm goodness, this soup is the way to go. It’s got so much going for it that you just can’t go wrong.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- Confession: this recipe stemmed from my need to use up the mounds of residual Baked Fontina Dip that I had leftover from Superbowl weekend.
- Serving this soup with some bread for dipping is a must.
- Don’t like the herbs I used? Try Basil or Parsley instead.
- No, the world will not end if you use Russets instead of Yukon Gold potatoes. But humor me for a second: Yukons have this incredible, buttery flavor and tender texture that I think makes them superior to other varieties and perfect for this soup. Also, you will want to use less if you choose Russets because they are typically bigger than Yukons.
- Asiago would be a delicious twist in place of Parmesan cheese.
- USE FRESH HERBS. Forget you even own dried herbs. They don’t exist, and they are not an acceptable substitute. You will never get the amazing flavor and aroma provided by fresh herbs.
- Same goes for fresh garlic!
- I will, however, forgive you if you forgo the shallot for a regular onion. Note, however, that you will want to use much less than you would a shallot because regular onions have a much stronger flavor.
- The most annoying thing about making soup is the prep work. Cook your potatoes, chop your herbs, and shred your cheese beforehand so, when you’re ready to cook, the rest is a breeze.
Fontina Potato Soup
By The Smart Cookie Cook
Yield: 4-6 servings
- 7-8 Yukon potatoes
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
- 1 shallot, finely chopped or grated
- 3 tbsp. flour
- 1 tbsp. + I tsp. cornstarch, dissolved in cool water
- 6 cups whole milk
- 4 cups shredded Fontina cheese
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan
- salt, to taste
- 1 tsp. fresh chopped thyme
- 1/2 tsp. fresh chopped rosemary
- hunks of good bread, for dipping (I recommend Italian or sourdough)
- Place potatoes on a microwave-safe plate and cook in microwave on high for 10 minutes or until fork-tender. Set aside.
- In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add garlic and shallots and sautee until translucent and aromatic, about 2 minutes.
- Whisking constantly, add the flour and cornstarch. Continue whisking, making sure the roux is free of lumps, until it turns a light blonde color, about 1-2 minutes (you want to cook out the “floury” taste). Pour in milk, whisking constantly until mixture is free of lumps. Cover and let simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
- When soup is thickened, whisk in the cheeses until completely melted. Stir in the salt and herbs then taste test to decide if you want more cheese or herbs. Add more as desired.
- Stir in the potatoes and serve. Garnish with fresh herbs, if desired.
*Melty – (adj) Well-melted; ooey-gooey.