Souped-up cookbook went from Vail to West’s best ski resorts

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While Jennie Iverson is technically the author of “Ski Town Soups,” she feels more like a curator of recipes.

“Like an art curator who tries to pose the art in the best light possible, I tried to position the recipes in the best format I could see fit and really make them shine,” said Iverson, who lives in East Vail with her husband Ross and two sons, Hunter, age 6 and Grant, 4.

The self-published book came out in September. Iverson’s love for soup began after she took a soup cooking class when her boys were young.

“I just love making soups,” she said. “I love the simmering time and how creative you can be with them. I started making tons of soups and pureeing them with an immersion blender. The kids would drink them through a straw.”

That love of soup, combined with Iverson’s affection for ski town life and culture — she grew up in a “skiing family” in Minnesota — got an idea simmering in Iverson’s head for a coffee table-caliber cookbook.

A few local chefs and restaurants took part in the cookbook, including Restaurant Kelly Liken and Larkspur Restaurant in Vail.

“I feel honored and blessed by the caliber of chefs in the book,” Iverson said. “We’ve got competitors from Bravo’s Top Chef, Food Network’s Iron Chef America. There are recipes from James Beard nominees, semi-finalists and winners in Sun Valley, Jackson Hole, Mt. Bachelor, Mt. Hood, Whitefish Mountain., Big Sky, Moonlight Basin, Heavenly, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Park City, Vail, and Beaver Creek.”

“Ski Town Soups: Signature Soups From World Class Ski Resorts” is sold at the Colorado Ski Museum in Vail. Information: skitownsoups.com.

The following recipe is from the Branding Iron Grill in Alta, Wyo.

 

POTATO, BEER AND CHEESE SOUP

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, finely diced

2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic

1 quart chicken stock or base

12 ounces Grand Teton Deep Powder Ale (or another pale/golden ale)

1 3/4 quarts heavy cream

2 large Idaho russet potatoes, peeled and diced

2 cups grated asiago cheese

2 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 lemon, juiced

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

 

Sweat onions and garlic in oil in a large pot until the onion becomes tender. Add chicken stock, beer, heavy cream and potatoes. Boil and reduce heat to low simmer for approximately 50 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally to avoid scalding. Once potatoes are tender, remove pot from heat and fold in cheeses. Puree in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth (you may use a sieve or strainer if a more elegant and smooth presentation is desired). Finish by adding lemon juice, chili powder and salt and pepper to taste. Serves 6 to 8 people. Serving suggestion: Top with diced chives, green onions or bacon and shredded cheese.