Last week ended on a high note when Hell's Kitchen Season 8 winner Nona Sivley left her chef de cuisine post at LA Market to head over to Rice Epicurean and cook up a big, steaming bowl of loaded potato soup. The audience was atwitter with an interesting mix of dedicated Hell's Kitchen fans, cooking enthusiasts, and hungry shoppers seizing an opportunity to take a break from selecting gourmet provisions. One of the first comments I heard was, "She's so much prettier in person. Sivley was attractive and personable, with a wit that clearly showed that though she's transplanted to California, she's still a Fort Worth girl at heart.
With the help of prepped ingredients, the soup was done in a matter of minutes, and we were able to sample small cups of the delightful creation. I was impressed with the silkiness of the texture and the depth of flavors coursing through each bite.
Sivley is an ambassador for Rosemount Winery, and as such we were all invited to sample healthy pours of their Chardonnay, Shiraz and Pinot Noir while nibbling on a generous spread of gourmet cheeses and fruits. Though I had previously enjoyed Rosemount's Shiraz, I was most enthusiastic about the Pinot Noir and bought several bottles to serve to friends alongside my new soup recipe.
Loaded Potato Soup
- 5 lbs peeled potatoes
- 1 cup minced shallots
- 1 qt heavy cream
- 2 cups cheddar cheese
- 1 lb Bacon-fine brunoise
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup flour
- 1 qt chicken stock (homemade preferred)
- Chives- fine brunoise
- Salt/pepper to taste
Boil potatoes in milk, season with salt and pepper. Sweat shallots and garlic in butter. Add flour and make a blonde roux. Add chicken stock and reduce. Gradually add heavy cream and thicken.
Puree potatoes and milk in blender and add to liquid. Add additional heavy cream if needed. Stir in cheese.
Garnish with brunoise bacon, cheese and chives.