Saturday, September 30, 2006

The weather's cooling down... Time for Potato Soup

I saw Jeff Smith prepare this recipe on his wonderful PBS show many years ago and thought it would be fun to try. The 'ribals', he explained, were little tiny dumplings and the entire recipe was a snap to make. Over the years I've updated it a bit, adding my own touches that I think make it the perfect potato soup. We have it often when the weather gets cold. The first pot is a sure sign that winter is on it's way! This is also one of those dishes that tastes even better after it's been in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days, if it lasts that long!

My additions to this recipe include the use of Yukon gold potatoes with the skin left on, boiled first in chiken broth. I added the garlic and onion to the recipe also. Adding a few strips of cooked chopped bacon is tasty, too.

My only warning is to watch the anount of salt you add. Sometimes the base the potatoes boil in and the stock the soup is made from can add enough for the entire dish.


Potato Soup with Ribals
From the "The Frugal Gourmet on our Immigrant Ancestors"
By Jeff Smith, With modifications by Lorence Sing

Ingredients: The Soup
1 quart of chicken stock
chicken base
6-8 cubed yukon gold potatoes, each about the size of billiard ball
3 1/2 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup onion, chopped
chopped celery leaves
salt & pepper
1 queart of milk

Ingredients: The Ribals
1 egg
1 cup flour

Boil the cubed potatoes in enough water to cover. Add chicken base to the boiling water so the potatoes are boiling in chicken broth. Boil until the potaoes are just fork tender.
Drain the potaoes in a colander.
Over medium heat in a stock pot, combine the 1 quart of chicken stock with the potaotes,onion, and butter.
As the mixture bigins to boil, slowly add the milk, stirring gently.
Make the ribals in a large bowl by combining egg and flour, initially with a fork then mixing with your hands until there is no "dry" flour left. You should have very tiny dumpling or flour balls.
As the soups heats back up to a slight boil, add the ribals, a handful at a time while stirring gently.
Add the chopped celery leaves, reserving a few for garnish.
Add a generoud amount of fresh cracked pepper and add a bit of salt if necessary - taste it first, though to be sure that the stock didn't add anough salt already.
If the soup gets too thick, thin it out a some with a bit more milk.

Serve with some nice fresh bread or rolls.

Other information on The Frugal Gourmet, Jeff Smith can be found at:
The Unofficial Frugal Gourmet page
Blog of Death
Teri's Kitchen
To me, The Frugal Gourmet was an inspiration to love and enjoy cooking. Watching him taught me to appreciate good food and good cooking. He made me realize that a recipe was more than just the ingredients and directions, but was also about the history and passion behind it. This is one of the reasons I love cooking and sharing my kitchen with all of you. I learned much from watching "The Frug", things I remember years later. I learned to appreciate and try making my own recipes. And above all I learned not to be afraid in the kitchen. Sure, there were some unsavory allegations about him that brought about his public demise, but those were far removed from his public persona and my impressions. I will always remember Jeff Smith as the Frugal Gourmet, a kitchen inspiration.


1 comment:

Kikilia said...

I think maybe instead of Ribals you mean Rivals. Rivals are small bits of dough dropped in the soup. Very popular around Amish country.