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Buttermilk and Steamed-Potato Soup

Make sure to keep the buttermilk very cold. Store it on ice until you're ready to serve.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Photography: Bryan Gardner

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2016


  • 1 pound bite-size red potatoes (about 25), or larger red potatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small head fennel (11 ounces), cut into a 1/2-inch dice (about 1 cup)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 shallot, cut into thin rounds (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 cups well-shaken cold buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons packed finely shredded kale, for serving
  • Fresh dill sprigs, for serving
  • Flaky salt, such as Maldon, for serving


  1. Place potatoes in a steamer. Fill a large pot with 1 to 2 inches water; place steamer in pot. Bring water to a simmer, cover, and steam until potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a knife, 20 to 25 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a small skillet over medium. Add fennel; season with kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fennel is starting to caramelize, 8 to 10 minutes. Add shallot; cook until golden brown and caramelized, about 5 minutes more.

  3. Divide potatoes evenly among 4 bowls. Pour buttermilk over potatoes. Top each bowl with fennel mixture, kale, and dill. Season with flaky salt and pepper; serve.

Cook's Notes

For a special presentation, pour the ice-cold buttermilk over the warm potatoes at the table.


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