Viewing The Martian has been on my film bucket list since it premiered in 2015. The Hubs is fascinated with space and then there’s the whole Matt Damon angle for me. I was excited to see it on the FnF schedule, but I have to say I was a bit perplexed. I was curious about the food depiction in the film.
Astronaut Mark Watney (Damon) is presumed dead and reluctantly left behind on Mars as his commander and crew try to escape a deadly storm. Watney is injured but survives.
As a botanist with an inventive mind, he makes plan after plan to survive the next four years until the next scheduled exploration team arrives.
Watney’s determination is remarkable and who knew that you could survive on Mars with a supply of Thanksgiving potatoes, poop, hydrogen and duct tape?
There’s not a lot of food in this film but I thought about Beef Stroganoff and Sweet & Sour Chicken (from the vacuumed ration packs). There were cups after cups of coffee as both Watney, NASA and JPL try to solve the survival issue and plan a rescue mission. Obviously, there were lots of potatoes and ketchup.
I decided on a potato soup because some of what Watney ate was a gruel-like soupy substance. I added the sweet potato to mimic the Red Planet’s color. This soup is a vegetarian version because his survival relied on what he could grow in the red dirt of Mars.
Two-Potato Soup with Sriracha Swirl
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 c. diced white onions
- 4 c. vegetable stock
- 3 small Yukon gold potatoes, chopped*
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, smashed
- 1/2 t. white pepper (Add 1/4 t. for less heat.)
- 1/2 t. minced fresh rosemary
- sea salt, to taste
- Sriracha, to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large heavy saucepan and saute onions until soft (about 5 minutes).
- Add stock, potatoes, garlic and pepper. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
- Puree the soup with a stick blender (or by carefully transferring it to a blender or food processor).
- Return soup to saucepan and add rosemary. Season with salt and more pepper if necessary. Bring back to a simmer.
- Ladle into serving bowls.
- Swirl sriracha on before serving as desired.
*You can peel the Yukon gold potatoes if you like, but it’s not necessary. You will be pureeing the entire soup AND the peels have nutritional value.
Yield: 4 servings
The swirl of Sriracha is an homage to his ketchup addiction (the only thing he had to add flavor to his bland meals). Plus, there’s the scene where he finally gets into the disco beat to “Hot Stuff” (à la Donna Sommers).
With the white pepper and Sriracha, this is some hot stuff, too.
And, did I mention the Matt Damon factor???
If you like this two-potato recipe, you might want to check out Two-Potato Vindaloo which I made for another FnF post for The Hundred Foot Journey.
I am also linking this spicy-hot-stuff soup to Kahakia Kitchen’s Souper Sundays.