Minestrina Tricolore: Potato Soup with Carrots and Celery

  • 1 pounds potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons onion, chopped fine
  • 3 tablespoons carrot chopped, fine
  • 3 tablespoons celery, chopped fine
  • 5 tablespoons freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, plus additional cheese at the table
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups Basic Homemade Meat Broth, OR 1/2 Cup canned beef broth diluted with 1 cups water
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Crostini, fried bread squares

Peel the potatoes, rinse them in cold water, and cut them up in small pieces. Put them in a soup pot with just enough cold water to cover, put lid on the pot, and turn on the heat to medium high. Boil the potatoes until they are tender, then puree them, with their liquid, through the large holes of a food mill back into the pot. Set aside. Put the butter, oil, and chopped onion in a skillet and turn on the heat to medium. Saute the onion until it becomes colored a pale gold. Add the chopped carrot and celery and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring the vegetables to coat them well. Don't cook them long enough to become soft because you want them noticeably crisp in the soup. Transfer the entire contents of the skillet to the pot with the potatoes. Turn on the heat to medium, and add the grated Parmesan, the milk, and the broth. Stir and cook at a steady simmer for several minutes until the cooking fat floating on the surface is dispersed throughout the soup. Don't let the soup become thicker than cream in consistency. If that should happen, dilute it with equal parts of broth and milk. Taste and correct for salt. Off heat, swirl in the chopped parsley, then ladle into individual plates or bowls. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan and crostini on the side.