Many people dislike potato soup because it can tend to be bland.  Not this recipe!  This soup flavors the potatoes with blue cheese and balsamic vinegar, and a dollop of olive tapenade.  Plus, it’s ready to serve in just an hour.

Blue Cheese Potato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 pounds red potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/2 cup prepared olive tapenade
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a 6-quart saucepot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until they’re tender.
  2. Stir the broth and potatoes in the saucepot and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  3. Pour 1/3 of the broth mixture into a blender or food processor.  Cover and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a large bowl. Repeat twice more with the remaining broth mixture. Return all of the puréed mixture to the saucepot.
  4. Stir in vinegar and cheese.  Increase the heat to medium. Cook for 5 minutes or until the mixture is hot and bubbling.
  5. Season as desired.
  6. Top each bowl with a spoonful of olive tapanade.

Serve hot and add a baguette and/or salad for a complete meal.

Olive Tapenade

Most recipes have anchovies chopped into it, however, I am not a fish fan.  Here is a recipe that adds garlic instead of anchovies.

Ingredients:

  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place the garlic cloves into a blender or food processor; pulse to mince. Add olives, capers, parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil. Blend until everything is finely chopped. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spicy Olive Tapenade

Here is a more spicy tapenade if you want an even more flavorful soup.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pitted black olives, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp dried onion
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp chopped pimentos

Preparation:

  1. Combine all ingredients except pimentos in a food processor and blend until smooth. Stir in the pimentos and serve.

Even if you don’t want to make the soup, olive tapenades can be quickly made to use as a spread for crackers or pita chips.