Topped with crunchy curried chickpeas this potato and roasted garlic soup is creamy and comforting but still with a hint of spice. And it has a secret ingredient…
In a recent post I tempted everyone with a delicious pea and homemade ricotta tart. I suspect that not a lot of people will end up making their own ricotta, which of course is a shame, but it’s even more of a shame as it means they won’t be able to make this whey soup either. Yes, the secret ingredient is the whey that was leftover after making the ricotta.
I had about 800ml of leftover whey and it seemed a shame to just pour it down the sink. After a short browse online I discovered there are a lot of uses for leftover whey. Add it to soups and stews in place of stock or in baked goods such as bread, pastries and biscuits. Apparently it’s good for your skin too so you could even add it to the bath, although that’s not on my list of things to do with whey!
The leftover whey may look a funny greenish colour but it’s full of vitamins, minerals and protein as well as being low in fat. It’s perfect for roasted vegetable soups as it helps give the soup that creamy texture without you actually needing to add any cream. I kept this potato and roasted garlic soup very simple. It’s mainly potatoes and garlic, which of course go well together. To make it a bit more interesting I roasted some chickpeas with some curry spices to make crunchy chickpea croutons. These were the ideal topping and complemented the creamy potato and garlic soup perfectly. Of course, you could just make roasted chickpeas for a tasty snack or even salad topping.
If you’re thinking that making homemade cheese is complicated and time consuming then think again. Nothing could be easier than making a soft cheese like ricotta.
Before anyone argues, I will say that I am not a cheesemaking expert. I’ve only just discovered how to make ricotta at home and if you’re a purist then you may argue that what I’ve made is not actually ricotta. The meaning of ricotta is ‘twice cooked’ because ricotta is traditionally made from the whey that is leftover after making another cheese. This ricotta is made from whole milk and it’s not twice cooked. Even so, it tastes like ricotta and that’s good enough for me.
My cheesemaking kit (The Big Cheese Making Kit) called it ricotta too. To make the ricotta you need milk, citric acid, salt, a saucepan, a cheesecloth and a sieve. I used citric acid as it came in the kit but you could use white wine vinegar or lemon juice as an alternative. Basically you heat the milk with the citric acid and salt then leave it to stand. At this point the curds and whey will separate and then you strain the curds off. I may go into this in more detail one day soon, but in the meantime, if you fancy having a go at home then take a look at this easy ricotta recipe from The Kitchn.
You can leave the ricotta plain or flavour it with herbs, spices or even peas as I did in the tart I mentioned above. Over the next few weeks I’m hoping to do some more experimenting and I promise I’ll be making some more recipes using homemade soft cheese, as well as some equally delicious recipes using the whey that’s leftover.
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 Medium- sized potatoes (approx 400g), cubed
- 800ml whey
- Black pepper
- 50g chickpeas
- 1/4 tsp curry powder
- A few sprays of oil
- Mix the chickpeas, curry powder and oil together.
- Cut the garlic bulb in half and coat in a little oil.
- Put the chickpeas and the garlic on a baking tray and roast in the oven at 200C for about 20 minutes until the garlic is soft and the chickpeas are crispy.
- Cook the onion gently in a saucepan in a little oil until it is soft but not browned.
- Add the potatoes and the whey and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Blend the soup either using a stick blender or transfer it to a blender, in batches if necessary.
- Season the soup with the black pepper and serve it topped with the croutons.