The inspiration for this recipe came from Barefoot Contessa’s Potato Leek Vichyssoise. Ina Garten’s recipe had arugula in this Vichyssoise soup and that got me hooked. I love arugula! It’s my favorite greens. I really like the peppery flavor of arugula and the fact that it is not a wimpy green. Arugula or what is otherwise known as rocket leaves is what really got me intrigued and interested in making this potato soup. I mean potato soup doesn’t have a wow factor to it. But potato soup with arugula? Now that is something I wouldn’t mind giving a try. Here is Barefoot Contessa’s original recipe for Roasted Potato Leek Soup.
Ina Garten’s recipe was for roasted potatoes and leeks, and it’s the leeks that give this potato soup the wow factor. However I didn’t have any leeks, what I did have at hand was fennel. I remembered making roasted fennel when I made my friend Shalini’s Roasted Fennel and Chickpea Salad, and the roasted fennel was so flavorful in that dish that I decided to improvise and made my potato soup with roasted fennel instead of leeks. Here is my recipe.
Roasted Potato, Fennel & Arugula Soup:
- 4 medium sized Yukon gold potatoes peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces. (I used 1 potato per person)
- 2-4 fennel bulbs (depending on size) fronds removed, bulb thinly sliced
- Olive Oil
- 6 garlic cloves cut into slivers
- 4 cups arugula
- 1 carton vegetable broth or 5 cups broth
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup crème fraiche or goat cheese or cream cheese (optional)
- 1 cup milk (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet place the cut potatoes, fennel, and garlic and toss with 2 tbsp olive oil. Place in oven and cook for 40 minutes until potatoes and fennel are tender. Toss around at the half-way point to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the pan.
In a large pot add roasted vegetables and 4 -5 cups broth and cook for 5 minutes. Mash the vegetables with a hand blender until they are lightly pureed. Now add 4 cups arugula and wilt the greens in the soup. Add milk and crème fraiche and warm though for 3-5 minutes. Soup is ready.
Serve with buttered croutons and Parmesan cheese.
Cook’s Notes: You can make this soup without the milk and cream cheese and it will taste just as creamy and delicious.