October 23, 2007

Peruvian Purple Potato Soup

by IsaChandra

Why is it Peruvian? Maybe because purple potatoes are from Peru or maybe because I love alliteration. Either way, this soup made me feel like I was somewhere exotic, or at least anywhere besides my torn up corduroy couch in front of the TV. This is the kind of soup you can only really make after visiting a farmers market because although it’s super simple, regular supermarkets just don’t carry the ingredients. But I suggested some substitutes if you would like to try it.

I get big eyes at the Union Square Farmers market and tend to lug home more than I can use in a week, so because they stay fresh, tubers and squash are good (albeit heavy) choices for me. Last week I bought these gorgeous “purple beauty” potatoes. When I sliced them open I expected the color to be a little faded, but they were a vibrant Prince purple. The kind of purple you want to paint your room on a Saturday evening when you’re 15 and have no Cure concert to go to.

I also came into some Delfino cilantro. It’s a little different than the common parsley-looking cilantro, it looks sort of like dill, with thin stubby leaves. The taste was a bit different, too – more lemon-y and stronger. Pick some up if you can find it, but use regular cilantro for this recipe if you can’t.

The last hard to find ingredient was Czech black chili peppers. They were mild and fruity and absolutely gorgeous, but I think that jalapenos would be a fine substitute.

After boiling the potatoes the color did fade just a tad, so I cheated and grated in some beet. Unless you’re a food photographer that probably isn’t exactly necessary.

Peruvian Purple Potato Soup

Serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

6 czech black peppers, seeded and thinly sliced

2 bay leaves

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups water

2 pounds purple potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch chunks

1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)

1/4 cup Delfino cilantro, chopped

Juice 1/2 a lime, or to taste

Optional: a little grated beet for color

Preheat soup pot over medium heat. Saute the onions, chilies and bay leaves for about 7 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and saute 3 minute more.

Add potatoes, water and salt. Cover and bring the heat up to boil. Once boiling, lower heat a bit to a slow simmer and cook until potatoes are tender – usually 15 to 18 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to puree half the soup, or transfer half of the soup to a blender or food processor and puree. Be sure to let the steam escape in between pulses so that the steam doesn’t build up and explode all over you. But get an immersion blender, it is so worth it. Return pureed soup to pot and mix.

Add cilantro and lime and taste for salt. Grate a little bit of beet in, using a microplane grater if you’ve got one. I used maybe a tablespoon, maybe a little less. Let sit for at least 5 minutes for the flavors to blend. Serve!



  • October 23, 2007 at 11:08 pm: bazu

    Wow. The color really pops on this one. I can haz?

  • October 23, 2007 at 11:10 pm: monique

    BORDERS HAS NO RECORD OF YOUR COOKBOOK EVEN BEING PUBLISHED!!!
    No joke! I have been told for 2 weeks at Numerous Borders stores that they have NO record of your cookbook’s release. I was also told that I wouldn’t find it anywhere, but lo and behold… I called the Barnes and Noble’s in town and not only did they have a record, but they have the book in stock! The only thing is…I’m broke and HAVE to wait until it somehow shows up at Border’s so I can use the $25 gift card I have, otherwise I won’t be able to get it. The numerous Border’s people I talked to said that they don’t have any POTENTIAL date of when they will get it in the stores. They also said that they thought the publisher “pushed back the date indefinetly”.You can check online too. Borders.com under “veganomicon” says “NO REALSE DATE”. I thought I would let you guys know, because with the large vegan population of Ann Arbor, I’m sure you guys are missing out on sales. This is the home of Borders and where the flagship store still is. I WISH I could get your book!!!

  • October 23, 2007 at 11:18 pm: IsaChandra

    OK, thanks monique!

  • October 24, 2007 at 7:33 am: Jamie

    Perhaps it is a Peruvian Purple Potato Potage . . . I also appreciate a good alliteration.

  • October 24, 2007 at 9:52 am: IsaChandra

    Darn, I missed the boat on pottage.

  • October 24, 2007 at 5:21 pm: Jewcer

    Spreading the vegetarian gospel in this post, but can’t stand environuts. Am I alone? http://www.jewcy.com/daily_shvitz/mother_gaia_and_al_gore_need_you

  • May 13, 2009 at 6:54 am: Alex liu

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  • August 8, 2010 at 12:31 am: Rhett Papantonio

    Really Good Work…. You Helping People A lot You can also us adult dandruff shampoo during bath time.

  • August 26, 2010 at 12:09 am: Bathroom Renovations WA

    A bathroom renovation perth is a major project and consequently requires someone with a builders licence to complete it. When meeting and interviewing bathroom renovation companies it is essential that you ask to see their builders licence, and ask for their guidance on what council permits may be required. That said, bathroom renovators can come from many walks of life. A bathroom renovation involves a variety of tradespeople including plumbers, electricians, plasterers, tilers, carpenters, painters, and cabinet makers. A good bathroom renovator is able to project manage all of these different types of tradespeople, and often has come from a background as a tradesperson as well.

  • January 21, 2011 at 6:04 am: jennifer

    what can you substitute for the black peppers? I can’t seem to find them

  • November 18, 2012 at 5:23 pm: Heleninegypt

    Care to tone down the racism in this post? It’s pretty busted & entitled to just assign a tradition to this soup inappropriately. Maybe share an actual Peruvian recipe / vegan adaptation of one. Or is their food not good enough for this blog?

  • March 24, 2013 at 9:26 pm: upinthesky

    I know I’m a couple of months late here, but the potatoes are called Peruvian Purple Potatoes. They’re native to Peru. This is not some kind of soup minstrelsy.