What's more comforting in the bleak midwinter than a baked potato? You guessed it: a baked potato soup. Whether you start with raw potatoes or leftover baked potatoes, soups like this baked potato soup, from Eat at Home, are sure to please everyone on your snow shoveling crew. Potatoes are on sale at the market this week, in advance of St. Patrick's Day. Add in cheese or bacon, greens or hot peppers, and you won't always need cream to make the soups smooth and rich and creamy. Note that potato soups don't freeze very well, so if you're fixing a large batch, invite some friends to share it -- and maybe they'll help shovel the snow, too.
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It's no secret to readers of The Perfect Pantry that I'm now the proud, if more than a little bit trepidacious, owner of a new electric pressure cooker. I'm still in the early stages of experimentation, but fortunately some wonderful food bloggers have created great recipes to teach me the ropes. This pressure cooker Cuban black bean soup, from Jeanette's Healthy Living, zoomed to the top of my list when I discovered a forgotten stash of dry black beans in my pantry. I still have so much to learn about this piece of equipment, but pressure cookers are so popular in other parts of the world that I'm motivated to put it to work in my own kitchen.
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According to Cookthink, "the word curry was invented by British colonialists in the 18th century. Most likely a bastardization of the Indian word kari (meaning sauce), it refers to a number of saucy dishes flavored with curry powder or curry paste." I think of curries, whether spiced with Indian curry powder or Thai curry paste, like this red curry tofu with spinach and mushrooms from The Perfect Pantry, as stews, often served over rice.
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