Picked up my last load from the CSA the day before Thanksgiving and am still working my way through. Over the six months of the season I got 270 pounds of vegetables. In other words, I picked up and brought home 10 to 20 pounds per week. Every week for 26 weeks. My goal was to eat or distribute everything and on that count I’ve done an outstanding job. So far. But I’m not finished yet.
Pictured above are some potatoes and a lovely bunch of leeks for my soup. Up in one corner is a rutabaga which I’m going to use with the potatoes and in the other corner a nutmeg which I will grate as the soup finishes cooking. An appreciation goes to James Beard for the suggestion of using nutmeg in leek and potato soup. I’m pretty creative in the kitchen, but I never would have thought of that one on my own.
I love leeks but they are sometimes a pain in the neck because they can be full of sand. These leeks were comparatively sand free so in no time I have them washed and sliced them.
Now I put a couple of tablespoons olive oil in the 4 liter soup pot, toss in the leeks, and let them braise. As the leeks soften and get aromatic, I scrub and cut up the potatoes leaving the skin on for extra fiber and nutrients. The rutabaga got added because I don’t know what else to do with it. It’s the same color as the potatoes and hopefully it will all just blend right in.
I add a liter of low sodium stock, chuck in the potatoes and the rutabaga, and let it all come to a boil. Then turn the heat down and gently simmer until the potatoes are soft.
My preference is low sodium stock not because I don’t want salt but because I want to add the salt to my taste. Also the presalted stocks do not taste as clean to my palate as the low sodium ones.
When the potatoes are soft enough to mash, I pull out the food mill. A wonderful kitchen devise that manually pulverized vegetables into chunks or purée pieces. The food mill is much gentler than the food processor. What is really cool about using the food mill is that the potatoes and leeks go in one end and out the other end comes soup. Back into the pot. Adjust the seasonings. Grate in some nutmeg. I used half the piece. Add more water or stock if the consistency is too thick. And as a final touch, I stir in a good sized piece of butter.
And there you have it, a nourishing late fall soup.
Best of all my leeks and the rutabaga are gone. And all I have left is 7 pounds of potatoes in my pantry. Hummmmmm …