Potato and Pesto Soup

Whoever invented pesto was a genius. Maybe it was some Italian peasant, maybe it was a monk (it seems like monks invented a lot of stuff… copious free time), but whoever it was was a flavour genius. Not to say it carries this soup, but… it kind of carries this soup. Without it, it’s pretty much just potatoes, shallots, and garlic, and that and stock and a bay leaf can only really go so far. But with the pesto stirred in… delicious.

The recipe comes from Taste and See, and I halved it, which came out to enough for us and a good-sized container of leftovers – probably enough for another big bowl each, maybe more. Gauging by the picture on the original recipe, I also didn’t puree it as vigorously – mine has quite a few recognizable chunks of potatoes still in it, while continuing to have a thick and creamy texture. I love my immersion blender, though. Oh – that reminds me. You know how Facebook is now showing you what you posted a year ago today, if you go to the direct link of a post? It’s on the right-hand sidebar. Well. A year ago today, I’d used my immersion blender for the first time! Digging back through the archives, it looks like what I must have used it for was this creamy white bean soup – yes, I know that was posted on Halloween or something, but I was way behind on posting recipes back then.

Potato and Pesto Soup

1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 small or 1/2 a medium shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 large potatoes and 1 small one, peeled and cut up
2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable, this could definitely be a vegetarian dish, I was just out)
1 small bay leaf, or break a big one in half, whatever
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup grated parmesan
pesto, say about a tablespoon per bowl you’re going to have? I don’t know, I never measure when I’m making pesto, it’s a handful of this, handful of that situation

Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat.
Throw in the shallot and saute for about 3 minutes – mine was on the verge of getting a little crispy, but I am certainly not complaining.
Pop the garlic in and saute another minute.
Add the potatoes, stock, and bay leaf (you can do any deglazing you need to do, too).
Turn up the heat and bring the soup to a boil.
Turn it down and let it simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Pour the milk in and allow to come just to a boil.
Remove from the heat.
Fish out the bay leaf.
Stir in the parmesan.
Now the fun part: immersion blender time! Or just do it in batches in a blender. I don’t want to tell you how to live your life. But if you HAVE an immersion blender… funsies! Blend it to your desired level of blendosity.
Stir a spoonful of pesto into each bowl of soup when serving.

You know what this has taught me? Mashed potatoes with garlic is a good idea. Mashed potatoes with pesto is a genius idea.

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