Yep, you saw that right. We really did use a packet of IKEA frozen mash in a recent soup recipe. And, believe you me, it was a bit of a game-changer. Our freezer often has a few packets of this particular brand of mash – containing apparently 82% potato – because of we run out of potatoes, which we eat a lot of, we can’t just nip across the road to the shop to stock up. So, we do need to think ahead, and these are ideal for those moments when we’re caught short.
Only we weren’t caught short the evening. We’d just returned from a trip over to Trieste and had done a big supermarket shop, so had loads of potatoes – but we were also shattered and wanted something quite simple, but tasty and nutritious to eat. We’d also been to IKEA and as well as various bits and bobs, we’d also thrown some mashed potato into the trolley and there it was, when we got back, just sitting on the counter in the kitchen. Usually, we’d do sausages and mash, but soup seemed to be what we both wanted, and so decided to try something a little different.
The mash was defrosted in a large pan over a low heat, with a large knob of butter – it’s best to keep an eye on it and keep stirring so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Once it was quite creamy in consistency, vegetable stock was added, along with black pepper, and then a roughly chopped head of broccoli. This was heated for about 50 minutes, on a medium to low heat, until the broccoli was cooked and a bit mushy. To mush it up a bit more, but still keep some consistency, the mixture was mashed with a potato masher. A block of blue cheese – roquefort was used as it’s got a strong, salty taste – was then crumbled into the soup and simmered for about 10 minutes. While it was simmering, a dish of pine nuts was toasted in the oven and these were sprinkled over the soup.
So, the verdict?
Suffice to say, you probably wouldn’t notice that frozen potatoes had been used instead of fresh. In fact, the soup had a really creamy consistency – even before the cheese was added – which you don’t normally get with fresh potatoes. No additional salt was added, as I figured there’d be enough salt in the frozen mash and veggie stock cubes, and the cheese definitely had a salty taste. Served with warmed up focaccia bread (frozen, again, as we’d bought a few when friends were here and didn’t eat them all), this was an absolutely delicious broccoli, cheese and potato soup – and we’ll be giving the frozen mash a few more soup outings over the winter.