I love discovering great soup recipes especially for the colder months. Here is a wonderful recipe from Giada De Laurentiis, which has an Italian twist on the traditional. Don’t skip the croutons with this recipe. They are really easy to make and add great crunch and texture to the meal. You can use any bread you like – I used brioche – the better the bread you use, the yummier the croutons you make!
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large or 4 small shallots, thinly sliced ( I used regular onions)
3/4-teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds (about 2 medium) russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup arugula ( I added 2 cups)
1/2-cup mascarpone, at room temperature
2 (1/2-inch thick) slices sourdough or multi-grain bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4-teaspoon kosher salt
8 cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered ( optional)
For the soup:
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat.
Add the shallots and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds.
Add the potatoes, chicken broth, and arugula.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are very tender, about 15 minutes. In batches, ladle the mixture into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Return the soup to the saucepan and whisk in the cheese, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Let the soup cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour until ready to serve.
Before serving, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.
For the croutons:
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a small bowl, toss together the bread, oil, and salt until coated.
Spread in a single layer on a small baking sheet.
Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.
Cool for 10 minutes.