Last night, I wanted, needed, a comfort dinner. I'd had potato soup in mind all day and before I left to pick the boys up at school and head to baseball practice, I roasted a whole pod of garlic just in case. Earlier this year, in testing a recipe for Food 52, I learned just how marvelous lots of roasted garlic pureed into soup is. It lends a subtle heft to the soup's flavor, a unique weightiness of flavor I find divine and satisfying. I use this technique in my Leeky Sunchoke Bisque and now also in the Cheesy, Garlicky Potato Soup that resulted from last night's experiment.
I wanted this soup to have a slight kick, the kind that makes you wonder, "hmm...what is that quiet fire in there?" So, I roasted -on a hot grill- a fresh Hatch chile (a real one! from New Mexico!! one purveyor at the Dupont farmers market brings them in when he visits his daughter out there) as well as a fresh ancho, skinned and seeded them, and later added to my bubbling soup the whole Hatch and about half the ancho as it was more a'blaze with spice than I expected it to be.
This soup took some tweaking: more cheddar than I anticipated as Gruyere alone was just too tame; more crème fraîche; an apple which complemented both the cheddar and the crème fraîche.
Ultimately, it was perfect, a definite keeper and make againer. Bacon lovers should feel free to crumble freshly fried bacon over the top. Smoked salmon would be delicious too. Scallions would make a gorgeous garnish and add a fresh zing to each bite. I could also imagine stirring finely chopped kale into the hot soup minutes before serving.
Beer or hard cider would be wonderful companions though my dry, deft rosé worked beautifully too.
Recipe will be posted ASAP. White soup is a bear to photograph well.