Superb Soups

Squash and potato soup with marjoram

Squash and potato soup with marjoram |

One of the herbs that I’m not too familiar with is marjoram. I’ve seen potted marjoram many times but I’ve never thought about growing it at home because I rarely come across recipes that list marjoram among the ingredients. It just doesn’t seem practical to care for a herb that will probably just grow wild because the leaves are rarely used.

Then, I read somewhere that marjoram has a sweet citrusy flavor and my interest was piqued. I love citrusy flavors and aromas. So, the last time we were at the grocery store, I bought a small jar of dried marjoram. I used it today to make this soup. The soup smelled and tasted so good, and I think that marjoram will now count among my pantry staples. Maybe I’ll even grow marjoram in a pot sometime soon.

To make this soup, sweat about a quarter cup of chopped onion with some salt and pepper in about two tablespoonfuls of butter. Low heat, covered, with occasional stirring until the onion bits are soft and transparent. Stir in a pinch of minced garlic, cook a minute longer, pour in about six cups of seasoned meat broth (I use homemade broth, always) and add about two cups of diced potatoes and an equal amount of diced squash. Sprinkle in a few pinches of dried marjoram. Bring to a gentle boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for about half an hour or until the vegetables are mushy.

Turn off the heat and, using a potato masher, mash the now-mushy potato and squash wedges. You’re not making a puree — you want some tiny bits to give the soup a rustic texture. Taste the soup, add more salt and pepper, if needed, and throw in a small handful of chopped parsley. Add a tablespoonful of butter and stir.

And that’s it! You’ve got yourself a lovely bright colored soup that smells and tastes as good as it looks.

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