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Updated Southern Cooking:
Golden Potato Soup

John Tullock

The idea of making potato soup with hot chilis is not new. I first encountered it in Mike Fennelly’s pretty little cookbook, East Meets Southwest. My version takes its lovely golden color and rich, buttery taste from Yukon Gold potatoes, but the dish will be equally tasty with any “all purpose” potato variety.

Chop 1 medium yellow onion and sweat it in 2 tablespoons butter, covered, over low heat until it is soft and beginning to turn light golden. Do not allow the onions to become brown. Add one outer rib of celery, chopped into 1/4” dice. Continue to cook, covered, 10 minutes. Add 1 minced clove garlic, and 1 stemmed, minced (but not seeded) jalapeno pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occassionally, for 5 minutes. Add 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1” chunks, 3-1/2 cups chicken stock, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, and 1 teaspoon salt. Simmer 20 minutes.

While the soup cooks, combine 3 tablespoons sour cream with 1 teaspoon fine quality chili powder in a small bowl. Serve the soup with a dollop of the chili sour cream and some chopped fresh cilantro leaves. Pass warm tortillas and additional hot sauce.

If the jalapenos do not look all that fresh at the market, substitute a pickled one, stem end removed.


John Tullock is an expert gardener and self-taught cook who likes to develop new recipes using his own fresh produce and the best from the local market. His interest in plants and horticulture begin in childhood, and he holds a masters degree in biology from The University of Tennessee. He also co-owns "Native Sons Nursery," a retail business that specializes in rare ornamental and gourmet vegetable plants.

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