Sunday Supper: Spring Potato Gruyère Soup

Posted by: samy March 27, 2016 No Comments

IMG_3884The inspiration for tonight’s Sunday Supper comes from simply needing to use up what’s in the fridge. That may not be elegant, but it’s real life.

In the aftermath of Easter, Erin had probably about three pounds of potatoes and easily a half pound of Gruyère leftover from a fabulous potato gratin dish she made for our holiday feast. She also had half a carton of cream and a number of dark beers in the that all needed to find a good home.

Maudite, from Quebec's Unibroue, is a strong, double fermented, red ale
Maudite, from Quebec’s Unibroue, is a strong, double fermented, red ale

Coupling the need to burn through these ingredients with the forecast of a looming evening rainstorm, the idea for a simple, yet hearty, potato Gruyère soup was hatched.

The thought of blending potato and cheese with dark beer reminded her of Welsch Rarebit, so the rest of the ingredients just sort of came together for marvellous results. The best part is, the measurements don’t have to be strictly adhered to, so use the below recipe as guide. Feel free to add in spinach or kale for some healthy greens, maybe a pop of dried mustard for a bit of zest, or even change up the cheese to Swiss, Cheddar, or whatever you prefer.



Spring Potato and Gruyère Soup

Makes about 10 cups

What You Need

  • 1 cup of diced pancetta (or bacon)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 120 mL dark beer (half a standard-sized bottle)
  • 6 cups low-sodium, good quality chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • S&P, to taste
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 c. whole milk or cream
  • 11/2 c. Gruyère, finely grated

How You Do It

  1. Sauté pancetta in a large stock pot over medium heat
  2. When cooked through and fat is rendered, remove from pot with a slotted spoon leaving behind fat, setting pancetta aside until later
  3. Sauté onion in bacon fat until translucent, about a minute
  4. Add beer, being careful with steam, a stir to scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pot
  5. Add potatoes, pour in chicken stock and add bay leaves
  6. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes, until potatoes are cooked and soft and the broth thickens slightly with potato starch
  7. Season with salt and pepper and Worcestershire sauce
  8. Remove bay leaves and throw away
  9. Melt a cup of grated Gruyère into the soup
  10. Lightly crush some potatoes with either a potato masher or briefly with an immersion blender (you still want potato chunks in the soup)
  11. Add in cream and pancetta
  12. Adjust S&P and serve topping with more Gruyère

Wine Pairing

As mentioned above, dark ales go really well with Gruyère, but if you can’t see yourself sitting down to dinner with a brew, try either a Chardonnay or Champagne/sparkling wine to pickup on the nutty, salty flavours of the cheese and compliment the creaminess of the soup.

Wines to try:

Château des Chârmes Barrel Fermented Chardonnay, VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON 2014, $13.95 LCBO 81653

Graham Beck  “Premier Cuvee” Brut Blanc de Blancs, Robertson, South Africa 2010, $23.95 Vintages 907568


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