Courtesy Gavin Schmidt, The Morris, San Francisco
One of San Francisco’s hottest recent restaurant openings is The Morris, helmed by Chef Gavin Schmidt and Sommelier Paul Einbund, who have worked in some of the most important kitchens on the West Coast. The market-driven menu changes daily, and the dynamic wine list shifts nearly as often. The dishes served here are equal parts comfort, innovation and elegance. In this simple but deeply flavored soup, Parmesan rinds and kombu (dried kelp) lend a double shot of umami.
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ large yellow onion, peeled and sliced
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
- 2½ pounds German Butterball or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 4 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus shavings, for garnish, and the rind
- ½ sheet kombu (available in Asian markets and specialty stores)
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh savory (can substitute fresh sage or marjoram)
- Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
- Croutons, for garnish (optional)
- Watercress, for garnish (optional)
- Shaved radish, for garnish (optional)
Heat oil in deep sauté pan or soup pot over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until tender, but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes, vegetable stock, cheese rind and kombu, followed by thyme and savory tied together in a cheesecloth sachet. Cover and cook until potatoes can be crushed with back of spoon, about 15 minutes. Remove and discard rind, kombu and sachet. Stir in grated cheese, and remove from heat.
Transfer to blender (in batches, if necessary) and purée, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, garnished with cheese shavings, croutons, watercress and shaved radish, if desired. Serves 4.
Peay Vineyards 2013 Estate Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast). “This Chardonnay has the crispness and minerality to contrast the richness of the soup, but enough weight on the palate to match the weight of the potatoes,” says Einbund.