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November 8, 2011

Recipe for potato and parsley soup with olive tapenade


Some pairings defy the obvious. Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. Carrie and Aidan, in Sex and the City. Andre Agassi and Brooke Shields. I'd add this potato and parsley soup with olive tapenade to that list. Who knew that tapenade -- briny and tart -- would be just what this basic potato soup needed? The soup on its own, with an abundance of parsley used as a vegetable and not only as a garnish, offers cold-weather comfort. Stir in a big spoonful of tapenade -- and you must, even if you think you don't like olives and capers -- and the humble potato soup takes on a completely new and unusual character. It might not be an obvious match, but this potato soup and tapenade belong together. (My quick and easy recipe for tapenade is on The Perfect Pantry; you can substitute your own, or store-bought.)

Potato and parsley soup with olive tapenade

Adapted from 50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker, this recipe serves 4-6.


2 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1-1/2 lbs red-skinned potatoes, cut into large chunks
5 cups water
1/2 cup sour cream
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup olive tapenade


In a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat, and add the onion. Sauté for 2 minutes, until the onions are translucent, and add the garlic. Stir for 30 seconds.

Add the potato chunks, and stir to coat the potatoes with the butter. Pour in the water, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Remove the pot from the stove and pureé with an immersion blender. (Or, let the soup cool for 10 minutes, and process until smooth, in batches, in a food processor or blender. Return the soup to the pot.)

Over low heat, stir in the sour cream, and salt and pepper to taste (start with 1/2 teaspoon of each). Then mix in the parsley, and remove the pot from the heat. Ladle into individual bowls, and top each bowl with a large spoonful of tapenade. Serve hot.

Print recipe only.


Posted by: SallyBR | November 8, 2011 at 03:05 PM

Very unusual indeed, but wow, I'm sure it's delicious!

I have somewhere a recipe for a potato soup with large prawns poached in it during final cooking, and served floating on top with some Sriracha sauce. Unusual too, but so delicious!

now I want to try your version, love all the flavors in it...

Posted by: Lydia | November 8, 2011 at 06:33 PM

Sally, now I want to try *your* version! Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: SallyBR | November 9, 2011 at 05:42 PM

Lydia, I've been searching everywhere for the recipe, because I wanted to email it to you... of course, it's in some black hole hidden in the universe. Once I find it (sigh) I will send it to you...

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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