You had us at pizza. Which brand is a freezer must-have?

At IN Food, all we’ve been thinking about is pizza (hey, Pizza Expo). Can’t say anything would be different if we weren’t going, we love this staple favorite. So, inspired by our love of cheesy, saucy goodness, we decided to compare a few frozen pizza brands to determine which is the absolute freezer must-have.

The criteria

We purchased 4 brands of frozen pizzas (all cheese only) and tested them based on overall taste, cheesiness, and sauce. After revealing the brands, we reviewed the packaging.

The contenders (price: low to high)


Price: $4.19

Overall Taste: 2.2/5

Cheesiness: 2.4/5

Sauce: 2.4/5


  • Overall, we enjoyed the sauce, the crispy crust, and an even melt of cheese. However, compared to the other pizzas it left us feeling uninspired. When it comes to improvements, we wouldn’t say no to more cheese!


  • We found it interesting that Jack’s was the only brand that used photography of an enticing cheese pull on their packaging. They effectively matched packaging with their target audience (younger male, college students).

HEGGIE’S (local)

Price: $7.99

Overall taste: 3.5/5

Cheesiness: 3.2/5

Sauce: 3.7/5


  • This local pizza offers a nice, cheesy flavor that’s rich and satisfying. It has a favorable amount of cheese and tangy sauce with notes of fresh tomato.


  • We like the smaller label that shows off the cheese and pizza goodness. A less-sophisticated design provides that ‘local brand’ appeal.

KOWALSKI’S (local)

Price: $7.99

Overall taste: 3.5/5

Cheesiness: 3.1/5

Sauce: 3/5


  • Authentic ingredient flavor profile, topped with two cheeses and seasoning. The sauce leaves something to be desired – we wish there was more!


  • The busy design distracts from the pizza itself. The illustrated ingredients give an artisanal feel, but overall it doesn’t have us craving pizza. Compared to other brands, it has us wishing we could see some of the pizza.



Price: $11.99

Overall taste: 4/5

Cheesiness: 4.25/5

Sauce: 4.2/5


  • When they say Lotzza Motzza, they mean it. We LOVED the abundance of cheese on this pizza. Brew Pub perfected the cheese pull with great coverage and texture. Accompanied by a full-bodied and flavorful sauce, this pizza left us wanting another slice (or two!).


  • Again, we love the smaller label that shows off the cheese. Especially when this pizza has so much! The circular label works well with the shape of the pizza. We thought Brew Pub did the best job showcasing their pizza and brand with their packaging.

The results

Lotzza Motzza is the winner on all fronts. Though its regular price is most expensive, our taste test confirms that, in this case at least, you get what you pay for!


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Chocolate and stout…that’s what love is about!

Indulge your sweetheart (or office mates!) with decadent truffles this Valentine’s Day. As a nod to our North Loop neighbor, Fulton Brewery, we chose their Worthy Adversary Stout for this recipe.

Chocolate Stout Truffles


Creamy Centers

1/4 cup Nutella spread
6 oz. milk chocolate, coarsely chopped

Truffle Filling

1 1/2 cups (1 bottle) Fulton Worthy Adversary Stout beer
12 oz. good quality chocolate (60% cocoa content), chopped


8 oz. good quality chocolate (from a shiny bar, this means it has previously been tempered) can be milk, dark or white chocolate


Creamy Centers

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Heat milk chocolate and Nutella in microwave for 30 seconds or until just melted. Stir until completely combined. With a teaspoon portion 36 1/2” dollops on parchment. Leave in the freezer for 1 hour, until frozen.

Truffle Filling

Add the beer to a pot over high heat. Reduce by half (about 3/4 cup remaining), stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and add the chocolate. Stir until smooth and melted.

Allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

Use a melon baller to scoop out a small amount of chocolate. Remove centers from freezer. Sandwich one dollop in the middle of the truffle mixture and roll into a ball with your hands. Chill for 20 minutes to an hour.


Heat chocolate in double boiler, on low. Stir until the chocolate is just melted. Remove from heat. Roll each truffle ball in melted chocolate until coated.

Place on parchment paper, sprinkle with desired topping. Chill until ready to serve.

Topping Ideas

Cocoa powder
Coconut shavings
Chopped nuts
Crumbled bacon
Crushed pretzels
Crushed candy cane
Crushed toffee
Caramel drizzle
Sea salt
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Why Giving Back is Part of Our Business Model

Food is our passion and our expertise, but it should never be our unique privilege.

At IN Food Marketing & Design we believe good business includes social responsibility. That’s why we invest a portion of our time, money and energy in combatting problems like food insecurity, poverty, illness and unnecessary food waste in our community.

Paul Newman, American actor, philanthropist and co-founder of the food company Newman’s Own once said “I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer who puts back into the soil what he takes out.” Our team here at IN Food agrees: Paul was onto something.

Here’s where we’ve concentrated our efforts lately.

The Jeremiah Program

Last winter we rolled up our sleeves and traded our keyboards for cutting boards to cook dinner for families at the Jeremiah Program. This program, headquartered in Minneapolis, helps determined single mothers excel in the workforce and prepare their children to succeed in school. It also reduces generational dependence on public assistance—all around a wonderful organization to be involved with and a great excuse for us to cook together (as if we don’t already take every chance we get here at IN Food…)

Second Harvest Heartland—Click for Lunch

Our 7th annual Click for L.U.N.C.H campaign received enough clicks to donate 4,830 meals to Second Harvest Heartland’s Summer Food Service Program!

More than 40% of K-12 kids in Minnesota rely on free or reduced-price lunches, and our partnership with Second Harvest Heartland helps keep these kids fed even when school’s not in session. 

#NationalSandwichDay traditions

For the second year in a row, we celebrated National Sandwich Day by making and donating over 100 sandwiches to Minneapolis Recreation Development, Inc., a local nonprofit serving homeless and disadvantaged youth and families in our community.

The cheese for these sandwiches came entirely from a client photoshoot. We didn’t want the delicious Cady Creek Farms cheese left in our fridge to go to waste, and since we couldn’t use it all ourselves we made sure it went to people who could. (For more about our efforts to minimize food waste, click here!)

Open Arm’s Turkey Drive

This Thanksgiving we participated in Open Arm’s Turkey Drive, and in doing so helped provide Thanksgiving dinner to families in the Twin Cities facing life-threatening illnesses.

Participants in this year’s drive collectively:

  • Raised $61,288 thanks to 409 generous donors—a number that both exceeded Open Arms’ goal and set a new record for the drive.
  • Delivered prepared turkey dinners to 188 families on Thanksgiving morning.
  • Offered frozen turkeys and trimmings to 378 families to prepare with their loved ones.

We see time and time again that food is more than just sustenance for our clients and their customers. Open Arms recognizes this too—giving Thanksgiving feasts to families coping with severe illness as a way to nourish their bodies, and their hearts.


The University of Minnesota Student Parent HELP Center is a program that serves low income undergraduates who are pregnant or parenting children while pursuing their degrees. These hardworking students might not be able to afford holiday gifts for their children after paying for tuition, books, rent, child care, and other family expenses, which is why the HELP Center has set-up Gifts for Little Gophers.

A few of us snuck away from our desks to go Christmas shopping for one of these families—picking out presents for three little girls, one boy and their parents. Back at the office, gifts in hand, we cranked the holiday tunes and carefully wrapped presents, enjoying the knowledge that they would bring holiday cheer to a family in our community.

Cookie Cart

Cookie Cart is a local organization that creates opportunities for Minneapolis youth to gain meaningful work experience and develop leadership skills through food (specifically, cookies!) We love the work they do and were thrilled to design their new van. Keep an eye out for the sleek new cookie-mobile around town.

As part of our partnership, we also welcomed Cookie Cart students to our North Loop office for brainstorming and a Q&A session about our industry. These young people are engaged and inspiring—a wonderful example of the way foodservice organizations can contribute to positive change in our community.

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10 Takeaways from 2017: The IN Food Annual Roundup

From the value of programmatic advertising to the wonders of the 21st century (have you tried Slack?!) to activating latent badassery in our office, here are 10 things we’ve learned in 2017.

1. Social media is a great place to test new creative ideas. Trying to decide between two versions of a headline? Two different images? Post them both and see which one resonates better with your audience. Voilà, there’s your answer.

2. Direct mail still works, folks. Call us crazy, but when we have a wild thought with big potential here at IN Food, we like to see where it takes us.

Case in point: We’re not afraid to go retro. Did you hear that direct mail marketing is dead? Certainly not from us. As an element of recent campaigns, we (er, a bunch of US Postal Service employees) took to the streets with some old-fashioned paper-and-ink marketing, and even we were surprised by the results. In campaigns with multiple touch points, we’ve found that direct mail can still out-perform other more “advanced” tactics.

3. Budget a little tighter than you anticipated? Programmatic advertising provides the best bang for your buck. The “golden age” (or not-so-golden-age, if you were a woman…) of advertising recently romanticized by the TV show Mad Men, is ALL about the creative. But today’s placement-driven marketing landscape is pretty darn sexy too—albeit a bit more futuristic. Programmatic advertising uses an automated bidding system to reach targets, resulting in a lot of impressions to a wide audience on a small budget. Employed strategically, a good programmatic ad could take Don Draper’s most creative idea any day.

4. Babies boost office morale. Our office manager, Erin, was between daycare providers for a few weeks this year and brought her son Felix to the office on Tuesdays. Suddenly there weren’t enough Tuesdays in a week for any of us with little Felix scooting around our desks and assisting his mom with conference calls.

A great example of the culture of flexibility and understanding that we cultivate here at IN Food, we’re all secretly hoping Erin might switch daycare providers again. (Although she feels like the arrangement she’s got going now is a good one…you sure Erin?)

5. We are among the smaller agencies in the Twin Cities, but we still play ball in the big leagues. Small can be mighty, especially when you put your whole heart into an endeavor. This year we were selected as the agency of record for General Mills Convenience & Foodservice and reminded just how big a role passion, grit and ingenuity play in success—regardless of the numbers.

6. A little playtime pays off. In 2017, we made an effort to do more things together—inside and outside of work. From dinners to happy hours, retreats, birthday celebrations and taking turns making soup for office lunches, we’ve discovered that quality “team” time really does translate to a near-seamless work environment.

7. All aboard the Slack train! No, really. Bringing this cloud-based messaging and collaboration tool to our office has streamlined communication between colleagues and departments and given us all an excuse to giggle at our screens together (as if we needed another platform for inside jokes…) Slack makes communication fast, easy, effective and fun!

8. Giving back feels great. As a food marketing agency we’re passionate about serving our community and helping to combat hunger. In addition to our annual Click For Lunch campaign, this year we also cooked and served dinner for the Jeremiah Program, made over one hundred sandwiches for the homeless, and volunteered at Second Harvest Heartland.

9. Everyone can be a badass. As part of our agency retreat in October we read Jen Sincero’s book You Are a Badass. Her refreshing, realistic and often-hilarious take on life, work and success gave us all a new idea or two to mull over, a little extra swagger in our step, and a reminder of our own badassery.

10. Staying active keeps you fresh. From #PlankTime (one minute planks every hour on the hour, anyone?) to complimentary Sculpt Yoga classes taught by our very own Assistant Account Executive, Emily, we’ve been reminded that a little physical activity throughout the day improves performance, productivity and happiness.


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Food Connections: Happy Hour Edition

food connections happy hour

There are Happy Hours…and then there are Food Connections Happy Hours.

Voluntarily or not, you’ve probably attended a version of the former: pre-packaged cheese platters, mediocre wine served in plastic cups with a side of stilted conversation. Sound familiar? It’s no secret that happy hour networking events range from mildly enjoyable (on a good day) to downright agonizing.

Last month’s special Food Connections Happy Hour, however, was a different story.

In keeping with our values of integrity and transparency we do have to fess up to one unfair advantage in the happy hour category: Creative Director Lori Gerdts. You might have seen the lasagna she whipped up with leftover cheese this fall? Our Food Connections appetizer spread was—if possible—even more mouthwatering.

spicy cauliflower

Menu highlights included:

  • Spicy Cauliflower Bites with Yogurt Blue Cheese Dip
  • Short Rib Flatbread with Smoked Gouda Sauce, Caramelized Onions, Jalapeño and Cilantro
  • Tortilla Chips topped with Chipotle Shrimp and Lobster Guacamole, and a Garlicky Black Bean Puree

apple brie

Happy hour success isn’t just about creating extraordinary taste sensations though. It was a treat to catch up with familiar faces and meet new professionals serving the food and marketing industry in the Twin Cities area. Plus, it’s rewarding for us to see valuable connections being made among our friends, colleagues and contacts.

IN Food president and founder, Anita Nelson, launched Food Connections in 2005 with a simple—but powerful—idea: the creation of a forum for Twin Cities’ food professionals to share information, build networks and forge trusted strategic partnerships. IN Food clients also benefit from Food Connections—we’ve got friends in every food industry niche you can think of, and the rapport to tap into their knowledge and quickly expand our capabilities.

Interested in becoming a Food Connections member? There’s no cost to participate, we simply ask that you have a genuine desire to connect with other professionals serving the food industry. Breakfast meetings are held four to six times per year at the IN Food office. You’ll have the opportunity to share about your areas of expertise, participate in roundtable discussions on relevant trends and topics, and—of course—network.

Join the Food Connections LinkedIn group to receive updates and meeting notifications. Shoot us an email if you’d like to stay informed about all things IN Food (Food Connections included) via our e-newsletter, or follow us on social media. (We’re on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn!)

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Gingerbread Cookies

A nostalgic holiday cookie, perfect for rolling and decorating to keep a classic holiday tradition alive.



  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks – reserve whites for frosting
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. ginger
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 5-6 cups flour


  • 11/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. vinegar
  • 18 large marshmallows
  • 2 egg whites
  • 11/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla



Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the yolks one at a time and beat until incorporated. Beat in the molasses, buttermilk, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and cream of tartar.

Add the flour a cup at a time, waiting to add the next cup until the previous is mostly incorporated. Dough can be a little sticky since it will be rolled out with flour.

Chill the dough until firm. Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll out chilled dough with flour about 1/4 inch thick.

Cut out shapes as desired. Bake for about 6-7 minutes until cookies look set and are starting to brown on the edges. Makes 7 dozen 3-inch cookies.


Put all the ingredients in a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan with an inch or 2 of simmering water. Cook and stir until marshmallows are melted. Add egg whites and beat 7 minutes over the double boiler. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until incorporated.


Spread frosting on cooled cookies or transfer to a piping bag to decorate cooled cookies. Let frosting harden before serving.

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Doing our part to reduce food waste

Stories from the IN Food Kitchen

To say that food waste is a huge problem in this country is an understatement. About 40% of all food in the United States goes uneaten. Seriously. Chew on that stat for a second.

As a marketing and design agency specializing in food, this carelessness around food waste is our problem too—and we’re committed to being a part of the solution. Recently we did a photoshoot for the Cady Creek Farms brand of our partner Burnett Dairy Cooperative, and challenged ourselves to use the leftover (and delicious!) cheese from the photoshoot as creatively as possible. Here’s what we did:

Lori’s Luscious Lasagna

If you know anything about our office, you know that Lori Gerdts, dauntless Vice President and Creative Director here at IN Food, could be just as successful as Chef de Cuisine at a swanky five-star restaurant. (We’re just glad she wants to stick it out in the office with us!)lasagna

Recently, after every mouthwatering shot had been prepped and captured to her exacting standards, Lori went to work on the photoshoot leftovers. The resulting lasagna was like nothing any of us had ever tasted before. Here’s what she used:

  • Perfectly savory-sweet caramelized onions left from sandwich preparations in the shoot.
  • Scrumptious sautéed mushrooms also used for sandwich preparations in the shoot.
  • Deliciously crispy leftover prosciutto.
  • Liberal amounts of 4 different flavors of Burnett Dairy cheese.

To these left-over ingredients she added a dangerously delicious béchamel sauce (made with more Cady Creek Farms cheese of course) and alternated layers of béchamel with layers of Lori’s Secret Red Sauce (a recipe she’ll take to her grave) between lasagna noodles, finishing it all with more cheese and a sprig of herbs.

Grilled Cheese Gala

Grilled cheese became a lunchtime staple at IN Food in the weeks after the Burnett photoshoot—and no one complained about eating rich melty goodness between slices of bread also left over from the shoot on more than one occasion. Cooking together is something we love to do here at IN Food, and what better excuse than making a whole bunch of darn delicious grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch at the office?

#NationalSandwichDay traditions

sandwiches to reduce food wasteEven with Lori’s decadent lasagna and grilled cheese sandwiches in the kitchen at lunch, we knew that our small-but-fierce agency couldn’t consume pounds and pounds of leftover cheese fast enough to use it all. So, for the second year in a row, we celebrated National Sandwich Day (November 3rd for those of you ready to mark your calendars for next year) by making and donating 150 sandwiches to Minneapolis Recreation Development, Inc., a local nonprofit serving homeless and disadvantaged youth and families in our community. If we couldn’t use all the perfectly good cheese ourselves, we wanted to make sure someone else could.

Perks of being ‘in’ with the IN crowd

If you’re not already in good standing with one or more of our team members, you may want to move that up your to-do list. Many of our nearest and dearest benefitted from this commitment to using Cady Creek Farms’ photoshoot cheese responsibly: from neighborhood chili cook-offs to birthday blowouts for 3-year-olds, logs of delicious leftover cheese proved—once again—that it pays to be on the INside.

Looking for more ingenious solutions to the problem of food waste in America? Here are some resources we’ve found informational and helpful!

Forbes on the latest food waste solution in the food industry: Wasted Bites Get Culinary Love From All-Star Chefs And Startups.

Hungry Harvest—a non-profit that delivers “ugly produce”, food that is wasted due to aesthetic imperfections or logistical inefficiencies, to subscribers of their market box service and additionally subsidizes and donates this produce to people in need.

TC Food Justice combats food waste and hunger right here at home in the Twin Cities area!


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B2B Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

B2B social media

With over 20 years of foodservice marketing under our belt, we know a thing or two about the B2B space here at IN Food. And, as social media plays such an enormous role in marketing and brand awareness today, we would be remiss not to share some of our tips, tricks and trade secrets. Here are 10 things to consider when leveraging social media for B2B marketing:


  • A/B Test. Social media channels are a great way to conduct A/B testing—you can post variations on the same content more than once, it’s easy to review analytics and paid social actually encourages A/B experimentation. Plus, you’ll be generating more content for your followers to enjoy. (Can you say win-win?)

Test different types of posts to find out what gets people to your website. What types of images work best? Do certain calls-to-action generate more clicks? Do questions perform better than statistics? Compile and analyze your results, and then use the data to inform other parts of your business: email subject lines, paid media headlines, article titles and more.

  • Be creative. Show your company’s personality! Social media is a casual space, and the more personality your brand conveys, the more authentic appeal you will command. This isn’t to say that all companies need to be delivering hysterical one-liners 24/7 (see @Wendy’s hilarious twitter account), but with a strong brand identity you can push the boundaries of conventional business messaging, whatever angle you take.
  • Interact with other accounts. There are millions of users on social media, to differentiate yourself from the masses, you need to make—and interact with—friends. Say it with us: The key to good social media is engagement. It’s imperative that you reach relevant accounts—interact with influencers, customers and industry publications to build your following and your credibility. Respond to their posts, share their articles, and tag them in your posts.There’s a reason social platforms are referred to as communities. By definition you can’t create a community on your own. Reach out! Be social!
  • Offer something of value. Why should followers care about what you’re saying? People at work are busy and not eager to add extra clutter to their days. Think about how you can make following your accounts worthwhile for target audiences by sharing industry statistics or trends that will make their jobs easier, providing a free downloadable item or even a rebate.
  • Repurpose content. Not everything that you post needs to be brand new—your team will burn out. Conduct a content audit and find new ways to share existing content. You can even experiment with new ways to position the same article to find out what makes people click. For example, we could share this article in the following ways:
    • 10 Ways to Maximize Your B2B Social Media
    • The Do’s and Don’ts of B2B Social Media
    • Here’s how to reach your B2B audience without paying a dime
    • 5 things to avoid when you’re a B2B social media community manager
    • The list goes on!


  • Be a megaphone! If you’re constantly sharing your products, your ideas and your news, your platform is all about YOU, not your audience. Cultivate authenticity and build credibility by making it all about THEM. Share industry articles that make their jobs easier. Lead with the benefit, not the product. B2B social media best practices suggest that you have no more than 30% of your content promoting your products or services.
  • Forget analytics. Track, track, track everything! Benchmarks vary so much from industry to industry, company to company—you are your own benchmark.

Where do your followers live? You won’t know until you start tracking. A few basics to watch: followers, likes/favorites, retweets/shares, comments and mentions. You should be keeping an eye on these at the bare minimum, but you should also consider incorporating tracking URLs for even more detailed analytics on your posts.

  • Plan out everything for the year. Social media is real-time and current. It allows you to respond to things as they happen. Unfortunately (or fortunately if you like to fly by the seat of your pants!) this means you can only prep so much in advance. We recommend planning posts in two-week intervals, supplemented by regular community monitoring and sharing of articles in real-time. Sharing and posting about industry events in a timely manner (preferably while they’re happening) is also a great way to engage with your followers.
  • Allow just anyone to post. Give thorough social media training to whoever is in charge of posting. This helps ensure that brand standards are maintained and messaging is appropriate. Nonetheless, it’s wise to have an escalation plan in case something goes wrong. Involve your PR team and leadership in addressing problematic situations.
  • “Set it and forget it.” Have a dedicated community manager who monitors notifications and is responsible for responding to people who interact with your brand.

Use these Do’s and Don’ts to increase the impact of your B2B social media. We’re confident you’ll be impressed with the results.

That said, keep in mind that social media is an ever-changing beast. Skilled wranglers of social platforms must be flexible, adaptable and open to new things—an attitude we’ve adopted and embrace every day here at IN Food.

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Mulled Wine & Bacon Jam



  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1 orange (juice and zest)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 bottle of red wine


  • 1 lb. bacon, chopped in 1-inch squares
  • 2 large shallots, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup strongly brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. real maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. water



Combine the cider, wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, zest, juice, cloves and star anise in a large saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.

Pour into mugs, add an orange peel to each and serve.


In a heated skillet, cook bacon until crisp, remove bacon from pan and reserve the grease.

Sauté the garlic and shallots in the bacon grease until soft. Add brown sugar, coffee, vinegar and syrup to the shallots and garlic and simmer 5 minutes.

Add bacon, pepper flakes and water and stir gently.

Simmer on low for about 35 minutes stirring often until the liquid is evaporated and the mixture is syrupy.

Place the entire mixture in a food processor and pulse a few times until it reaches the consistency of chunky jam.

Serve at room temperature. Makes approximately two cups.

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Peruvian Idaho® Potato Soup

MAKES 8 CUPS • The hearty comfort of a classic potato soup with a twist of Peruvian spice. Serve with warm, crusty bread for a delicious fall dinner.


  • 11/2 pounds assorted Idaho® fingerling potatoes (red and yellow)
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, stem and ribs discarded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds, ground
  • 1 tsp. ground annatto seeds
  • 1 tsp. coarse sea or kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. coarsely cracked black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, diced
  • 2 cups whole milk


  • Queso cheese
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Scallions, diced
  • Fresh cilantro


Wash potatoes well under cold running water. Cut in half and submerge in a bowl of water to prevent discoloration.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Once oil appears to shimmer, add onion, garlic and bell pepper. Stir-fry until onion is light brown around the edges and garlic and pepper have softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

Stir in cumin, annatto, salt, peppercorns and cayenne. Cook only about 15 seconds.

Drain potatoes, add them to the pan along with the cream cheese and milk. Return pan to medium-high heat. As milk comes to a boil, the cream cheese will start to melt. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork or knife, about 15 minutes.

Transfer soup in batches to a blender jar and puree until smooth, creamy and a beautiful shade of yellow, scraping the inside of the jar as needed. You can also purée it in the pan with an immersion blender.

Serve the soup warm in individual bowls, topping it with queso, avocado, scallions and cilantro.

Recipe by Idaho Potato Commission

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