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The scoop on this recipe…
My husband deserves credit for this amazing potato carrot soup. When I reach the limits of sanity or when I get sick, my sweet Wânder comes along and makes me food. The dish that I consider his signature recipe is a one-pot wonder with carrots, potatoes, pasta, and enough garlic to send any sinus infection running for the hills. Whenever he makes his special “soup of love” as I affectionately call it, my heart melts like butter in a frying pan. Who can resist that amazing aroma of garlic sizzling in oil? Who wouldn’t be soothed out of their frazzled mommy “hanger” (hunger+anger) by potatoes so perfectly boiled they melt in your mouth? It’s so simple but SO GOOD. Food cooked with love has a special flavor.
My attempt to replicate…
No matter how many times I try to match Wânder’s flavor, mine always comes out different. I add the same amount of garlic, follow his directions, but never achieve the same melt-in-your-mouth results. That is, until the last time I tried. On this occasion I came closer than ever. However this was least expected by me, as I lost track of my plan part way through. I hadn’t noticed the time when I started. And wouldn’t you know, just as I finished putting the potatoes and carrots in the pot to boil, my son’s crying reminded me it was time to begin his bedtime routine.
Flustered at the sudden change of plans, I left the boiling pot on the stove and rushed off to start his bath. A full fifteen or twenty minutes later, Wânder poked his head into the nursery and whispered, “Should I turn off the burner? The water evaporated a lot.” I almost jumped out of the rocking chair, baby latched to boob and all, thinking I was about to burn down the kitchen. Then his words sunk in. Ah. Sighs of relief. If you are a mom, I bet you’ve also had some forgetful moments like this.
When I returned to the kitchen thirty minutes or so later, it dawned on me that I’d never added the pasta! What a night. As I like to say, “That ship sailed.” Hunger pangs persuaded me to give up on my original plan and settle for the contents of the pot. I filled a bowl for myself and hunched over the counter, exhausted and defeated. That is, until I took the first bite and the most tender potato melted in my mouth and perfectly salty, garlicky broth woke up my tastebuds. Forget the pasta. This was AMAZING. I decided to let this recipe live on as potato carrot soup.
“Do tell! What’s the secret to your Potato Carrot Soup?”…
What had I done that nailed the essence of this dish? The ingredients and portions were the same as always, which meant that the difference came down to the cooking process (or lack thereof.) Surprising and beguiling as it was to my perfectionist nature, my soup finally hit the mark by being forgotten! It boiled and boiled without being stirred. Then it sat for thirty more minutes with the lid on. And the result – wow! This was the taste of love! Actually… it was… I may not have been pouring much love into my soup, but I was busy loving my son.
Could it be that some cooking really does boil down (pun? YES!) to a heart full of love? As whimsical as this may seem, I have to say that this experience taught me not to worry so much about doing everything perfectly. Ironically enough, perfection and overnurture of my recipe may have been to blame for all of those former lackluster results. (After all, my Husband’s cooking style is very much characterized by a “chop, dump, and let it boil” approach.) So go about your life, pouring yourself into the things that really matter, and you might be surprised at what else falls into place. There may be heartaches, problems, and creative blocks that resolve themselves based on setting your priorities straight. Who knew I could learn so much from a simple bowl of potato carrot soup?
Well… that concludes today’s commentary. Here’s the recipe so you can make this soup when you need a comforting reminder to “live and let live.”
PS – This recipe includes an ingredient that may not be familiar – “Colorifico.” While the name sounds like an artificial food coloring, this is actually a natural powder made from Annatto seeds. Besides giving a lovely color to dishes, it also adds a slightly nutty flavor. If you don’t easily find this at your grocery store, or don’t feel like making the trip, you can easily get it from amazon. Plus, the link I’ve included is eligible for Amazon Prime shipping which means 2-day delivery in most cases.
Potato Carrot Soup
A quick-prep potato and carrot soup that will fulfill all of your comfort food dreams.
- 1 Large Onion
- 2 Tablespoons minced Garlic
- 3 Cups Baby Potatoes
- 2 Large Carrots
- Salt to taste (I used about 1 Teaspoon)
- 1 Teaspoon of Colorifico (Brazilian seasoning that adds a red color.)
- Step 1 Peel and chop the onion into 1/4 inch pieces. Wash, peel and cut the carrots into 1/4 inch slices. Wash the potatoes and leave whole as long as they are no larger than 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Mince the garlic if you are using raw garlic.
- Step 2 Sauté the onions and garlic in a little oil until the garlic starts to brown. Quickly add salt and colorifico.
- Step 3 Pour in your carrots and potatoes and cover with water. Stir a little and place the lid on the pan.
- Step 4 Let the soup boil with minimal stirring until the potatoes are extremely tender and the water has evaporated into broth.
- Step 5 Turn off the heat and allow to sit with the lid on for 10-15 minutes. This allows the potatoes and carrots to become even more tender without dissolving.
- Step 6 Serve alone or with some avocado toast, crackers, cheese, or whatever you like!