Scrub the potatoes really well with a vegetable glove or vegetable brush. Continue to step #2 if you want to leave the potato skin on OR continue to step #3 if you want to peel the skin.
Leave the potato skin on: You can score the skin in several directions with a sharp knife to avoid having large pieces of skin in the mix. This way when you mash with a whisk the skin will integrate into the potatoes and give an overall smooth texture.
Peel the Skin off: Peel the potatoes, and set aside to make oil-free potato skin crisps (see link below)
Cut in quarters or sixths or eighths, depending on how large they are. Place in a large bowl.
Add water to the salad spinner and put it in the potatoes to rinse and lift out to drain them. This step will take off the excess starch and leave just enough water to let the spices cling in the next step.
Place the drained potatoes in the prep bowl. and sprinkle lightly with salt if using and toss in the bowl. If using turmeric powder, sprinkle with turmeric, toss again and sprinkle again. The potatoes should be a light golden color at this point. If using fresh grated turmeric root instead of turmeric powder, See step #10
Grind some black pepper, toss and grind a little more and toss again. If you don’t want black specks, you can use white pepper instead or leave it out and add at the table. Set the bowl aside while you start the pan.
Heat the saucepan to medium heat. Test the pan with a little water. The water should spatter about, bead up and move quickly on the pan surface when the pan is hot enough for the garlic.
Add the grated garlic to the pan and push down with the flat edge of the spatula to form a thin layer on the bottom of the pan.
Continue to move the uncooked garlic around the pan, for 2–3 minutes. It should stick to the bottom of the pan forming a thin layer, light gold in color and fragrant. Do not let the garlic get fully golden or browned which can give an off taste in this dish.If you are using fresh grated turmeric root, add to the pan and stir into the garlic and proceed.
Add the potatoes to the pan.
Fill the pan with the filtered water to just cover the potatoes. If using miso, put the miso in a small bowl with 1/4 cup or so of the water. Stir well, then add in with the potatoes (this step ensures the miso will distribute in the potato mix).
Rub the bottom of the pan to release the golden garlic layer and mix into the potatoes. Place the lid on, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for about 15 minutes. Then remove the lid, give it a stir and let simmer for 10 minutes more without the lid on to reduce the broth and finish cooking the potatoes.
Test the potatoes with a toothpick or small sharp knife. It should go easily through, even break apart and not look chalky in the center. Continue simmering if needed and check every few minutes.
With a soup ladle, remove excess broth and set aside. It s easy to add the broth back in if needed, but if there is too much liquid the potatoes will be runny and it is hard to fix.
Start breaking up the potatoes with the whisk.
Then start stirring in a figure-eight or circular motion until smooth or the texture you like. Add in the set aside liquid only if needed to get the right texture. This liquid is also good to add a little if you have leftovers the next day when you reheat.
Place the lid back on until you are ready to serve.