Saffron Potato and Onion Soup

sopa de patata con azafran- Chris Ciolli

Potato and Onion Soup with Saffron – Chris Ciolli

Last week a cold front hit Barcelona (and the Midwest too, come to think of it) and there’s nothing like hot soup to warm you up in your freezing cold apartment.

Creamy potato and onion soup is a crowd pleaser and one of my personal favorites, but sometimes I like to switch things up, and one of the great things about potatoes is that they combine so well with so many different spices and vegetables. So I scanned my spice shelf for inspiration and settled on a small transparent plastic box crammed with tiny orange-red threads

Saffron is a typical spice in Spanish cuisine (what makes authentic paella yellow, for example). Since I love it in everything from rice to creamy pasta sauce,  I figured, why not? Because nothing dresses up a humble dish like potato soup quite like the world’s most expensive spice…..well, the Spanish variety isn’t as expensive as Iranian or Kashmiri versions.

Ingredients for Saffron Potato and Onion Soup (Serves 2 as a main dish)

  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1 medium sized yellow onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 tsp of dried whole saffron
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (if desired)
  1. Scrub the potatoes clean.
  2. Chop the onions and potatoes in large chunks
  3. Mince the garlic.
  4. Put the olive oil in your soup pot on low heat.
  5. When the oil begins to bubble, add the potatoes and onions.
  6. Sautee on low heat until the onions and potatoes start to brown.
  7. Add garlic and 3 cups of water, simmer for 20-30 minutes
  8. Add heavy cream and simmer for another 15-20 minutes
  9. Turn off the burner, add the saffron, cover the pot and leave the soup to sit for 5-10 minutes.
  10. Drizzle with a little extra heavy cream,  sprinkle with red pepper flakes and serve with slices of crusty whole-grain bread for extra presentation points.
Extra tips:
  • This is a vegetarian, gluten-free soup.
  • Make it vegan and dairy free with a milk substitute in place of the heavy cream.
  • Make this soup a more complete meal with a side salad, wrap or panini.
  • Make this soup lower fat by substituting lowfat milk for the heavy cream, but be careful not to let it curdle.
  • Substitute leaks, white onions, or purple onions for white onions if you prefer—You can also garnish the soup with green onions if you prefer.
  • Make the soup more colorful with a bacon, red pepper and green pepper garnish.
    sopa de patata con azafran con cuchara

    Saffron Potato and Onion Soup with Spoon- Chris Ciolli



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