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Potatoes come in 5,000 varieties; pick a favourite

This week's recipes include Potatoes and Onions in Cream, Baked Carrots and Potatoes, Mennonite Potato Soup and Hot Potato Salad
From the Kitchen by Joyce Walter

By now the cool and dark root cellar should be filled with harvested potatoes in preparation for the winter months ahead.

But there’s no reason to wait for winter to enjoy one or more of the 5,000 varieties of potatoes available around the world. Research undertaken in 2014 showed that potatoes ranked fourth among the world’s largest food crop, coming behind only maize, wheat and rice.

This week’s recipes, from a favourite Mennonite Cookbook, provide several ideas for serving potatoes.

• • •

Potatoes and Onions in Cream

5 medium-sized potatoes, pared and quartered
8 small onions
2 tbsps. butter
1 tbsp. flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsps. salt
pepper to taste
paprika to taste

Place the potatoes and whole onions in buttered baking dish.

Melt butter in saucepan then stir in flour. Combine cream and water and add to butter and flour mixture. Cook on low until it thickens. Add salt and pepper..

Pour mixture over potatoes and onions. Bake at 350 degrees F until potatoes and onions are soft, about one hour, depending on size of the potatoes. Sprinkle with paprika before serving.

• • •

Baked Carrots and Potatoes

4 medium-sized potatoes
4 medium-sized carrots
1 large onion
2 tbsps. butter
2 cups milk
1/4 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt

Peel and slice potatoes, carrots and onions. Grease a baking dish and place vegetables in alternate layers in dish. Season and dot with butter. Continue until all vegetables are used.

Pour milk over the vegetables and bake until tender, about 2 hours at 300 degrees F.

• • •

Mennonite Potato Soup

medium-sized mixing bowl of potatoes
water for steaming
1 bay leaf
1 onion
salt, pepper and other seasonings, to taste
2 quarts milk
butter, the size of an egg

Peel potatoes and cut into small pieces and place in the top of a steamer double boiler. Add bay leaf, chopped onion and seasonings. Steam until potatoes and onion slices are tender. Remove bay leaf.

Mash potatoes when tender. Add milk and butter and bring to a boil. Cook until slightly thickened. Serve hot with fresh rolls.

For a thicker soup, add a bit of starch or flour and whisk to remove any lumps. Corn niblets may be added for a different texture.

• • •

Hot Potato Salad

4 cups hot mashed potatoes
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup minced onion
4 tbsps. butter
1 tsp. prepared mustard
2 tbsps. vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb. wieners, cut into quarters

Thoroughly blend all ingredients except wieners. Grease a casserole dish and pour in the potato mixture. Bake at 325 degrees F for 30 minutes. Top with wieners and bake another 10 minutes. Serve hot.
Joyce Walter can be reached at