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Creamless Potato Soup with Frog Legs and Sumac Berry

Creamless Potato Soup with Frog Legs and Sumac BerryRecipe courtesy of Chef Michael Tsonton, of Courtright's Restaurant in Willow Springs, Illinois.

Recipe Ingredients:

2 tablespoons, plus 4 tablespoons olive oil - divided use
5 pounds Idaho® potatoes, peeled and large diced
1 Spanish onion, peeled and small diced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 quarts white chicken stock
1 quarts cold water
1 stalk fresh lemongrass, split
1 fresh bay leaf
3 sprigs of fresh thyme (tied with bay and lemongrass in butchers twine)
sea salt and fresh cracked white pepper to taste

Frog Legs:
6 to 8 frog leg saddles, size 8 to 9, cut into two, clipped and cleaned
Ground sumac berry
3 tablespoons grape seed oil for sautéing
3 tablespoons butter for basting
Sea salt and fresh cracked white pepper to taste

Cooking Directions:

  1. For Soup: In a large heavy bottom soup pot, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil on a medium-low heat and add the onion and fresh ginger. Sweat until clear, without browning, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the tied herbs and the potatoes, mixing well with the onions and ginger. Add the chicken stock and the water, and raise the heat to medium high. Cook until the potatoes are very soft, spooning off any scum from the surface along the way, about 15 minutes.
  3. Drain the potatoes, reserving the cooking liquid. Using a blender or food processor, puree the potatoes with the reserved liquid in batches until desired consistency is achieved. Season to taste. If very smooth soup is desired, pass the soup through a fine mesh strainer. Keep warm.
  4. For Frog Legs: Season the frog legs well with the sea salt and white pepper, then cover them in the ground sumac berry, saving a tablespoon for garnishing the plate.
  5. Heat a skillet on a medium heat and add the grape seed oil. Sauté the frog legs on one side until light golden, careful not to burn the sumac berry, about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the legs over and add the butter to the pan and continue cooking, basting them with the foaming butter, for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the pan.
  6. To Serve: In warm bowls, ladle in the warm potato soup and drizzle a little of the reserved olive oil in the soup. On small round plates, place two pieces of the frog legs each and sprinkle them with the reserved sumac berry.

Makes 8 servings.

Recipe and photograph courtesy of the Idaho Potato Commission.