At aid stations during road races like the Cap City Half and the Columbus Marathon, they offer the runners things like Dixie cups of Gatorade. In ultra trail races, where people are running 25 miles, 50 miles and 100 miles, the aid stations are handing out grilled cheeses, PB&Js and, in cool weather, boiled potatoes or little shots of potato soup. It’s bland (so easy on the tummy), salty (to replace what you’ve lost through sweat), warming and easily converted into energy.
Given all the long-distance running Barrak and I are doing lately, and the sudden drop in temps, a pot of potato soup sounded really good this weekend. And it’s cheap! I already had carrots and celery knocking around in the vegetable drawer, and we always have milk. I used Pioneer Woman’s recipe. It’s on the bland side but we’re in the mood for bland given the toll running takes on your tummy. And, you can load it up with fried bacon, cheese, green onion, chives or what-have-you.
You peel six medium-size Russet potatoes, then dice them.
I ended up pureeing my soup a little too much and wanted more chunks of potato. So I quickly peeled and boiled two more potatoes until they were fork-tender, and added them to the finished soup.
First you sauté 6 slices of chopped bacon. Then you remove the bacon and sauté chopped onion, celery and carrots in the bacon grease. The aroma is insane – like Thanksgiving.
A late-night snack for Barrak around 9:30 p.m.
Barefoot Contessa makes a fancier version: she roasts the potatoes first, uses leeks instead of onion, adds arugula, uses creme fraiche, and garnishes with fried shallots and good parmesan. I’ll try that one before winter is over.