Adapted from a recipe found on Food52.com - I added the onion, carrot and celery and altered some cooking times. Very flavorful and lip smackingly good.
Potato Soup with Fried Almonds
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
1 small onion diced
1 medium carrot diced
1 small stalk celery finely diced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup slivered almonds (pkg said BOTH 2oz and 1/2 cup, go figure)
5 large garlic cloves, peeled
1/3 cup (about 2 ounces) diced serrano ham or prosciutto
4 cups chicken broth, or more if needed
1 pinch saffron, crushed
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar, preferably aged, or more to taste
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
Dense country bread, for serving
Cut the potatoes into irregular chunks by inserting the tip of a
small, sharp knife into a potato and twisting until a 1 1/2 chunk
comes out. Repeat until the entire potato is cut up, then continue
with the remaining potatoes; set aside. Alternately, roughly chop in 1
1/2 inch chunks (this is what I did). Peeling is optional.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add
the almonds and garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, 4 to 5
minutes, adjusting the heat so the oil doesn’t burn. Using a slotted
spoon, transfer the almonds and garlic to a bowl to cool slightly. Add the onion, carrot and celery
to the pan and sweat for a few minutes. Add the ham and potatoes and cook,
stirring, for another several minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a
boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat
and simmer the soup.
Meanwhile, place the almond and garlic mixture in a food processor and
grind it. If you like almond bits in your soup, grind the mixture
somewhat coarsely; otherwise, grind it fine. Add all but about 2
tablespoons to the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Steep the saffron in a few tablespoons of the soup broth for 2
minutes, then add it to the soup. Simmer the soup, partially covered,
until about half the potatoes have disintegrated, about 35 minutes.
Skim the soup as it cooks if you like, and add a little more stock if
the soup seems too thick.
When ready to serve, check the texture of the soup. If you’d like it
creamier, break up some of the potatoes with a sturdy spoon. Add the
vinegar to the reserved ground almond mixture and stir it into the
soup. Add the parsley and cook for a minute. Taste for seasoning,
adding a little more vinegar if necessary. Serve the soup with good crusty bread.