potatoes

When I got my CSA box last week, I knew exactly what I wanted to make.

Potato Leek Soup.

I had never made potato leek soup before and while I thought about finding a recipe, I decided in the end that it would be easy enough to wing it. During my lunch break at work, I stopped by Trader Joe’s and picked up some thyme, so I wouldn’t have to make any stops on the way home.

Then I forgot the thyme in the employee refrigerator.

Score.

I started my near 4 mile walk home and thought about whether or not I should stop off for some spices of some kind. While I didn’t really want to brave the lines, I in the end decided to stop off at Whole paycheck Foods * for some more thyme. They somehow managed to be completely out of fresh thyme. What? So I got rosemary instead. I nearly got sucked into the Whole Foods vortex, but I caught ahold of myself and managed to get out with only buying the rosemary. Go me.

* I don’t mean to be all snarky about Whole Foods. I like it there, and everything, but it gets so expensive. I try to only go there for specific items that can only be found there and I do my regular shopping at other markets.

When I got home, I set to work….as quickly as possible. I was hungry!

First up, cut up the potatoes and set to the side.

I know what you’re thinking.

“You didn’t peel them first?!”

I thought about it…and then decided I was too lazy. Plus, since I was going to blend the soup anyway, there was really no need. Hey, fiber, baby!

Heat up a little bit of extra virgin olive oil in a pot and then add some garlic. Then add two chopped leeks and saute until soft.

Add 2 cups of chicken broth and the potatoes. Then add water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for about 20 minutes.

Then blend the soup in four batches with your Magic Bullet. Or use a blender. Or an immersion blender. Whatever you have available.

Yeah, I admit it. My method is not terribly efficient. Effective though.

In the last batch of soup that went into the magic bullet, I added a couple of tablespoon’s worth of fresh rosemary. After it was blended, I put all of the soup back in the original pot to heat back up.

Once the soup has been returned to the pot, you can add any further seasonings that you would like. I added a healthy amount of black pepper. Then I dug around in my fridge and located the creme friache that I had used when I made the golden beet soup and the butternut squash soup in October. As it turned out, it was good for exactly three more days, so I took the pot off of the heat and added the remainder (about 1/3 cup) to the soup to make it a little creamier.

Final step is to serve up a yellow bowlful:

I added a little too much rosemary, as the flavor was a little bit overwhelming. It was still super tasty though. I considered it a recipe success.

Are you a soup person in the winter? I sure am.

Last week was pretty hectic, and I’m afraid I didn’t get much cooking in.

And by not much, I actually mean: I didn’t cook at all.

So I knew I needed to get my behind in the kitchen and cook up the rest of the perishables I got in my CSA box a couple of weeks ago.

First I decided on mashed potatoes, as it was the one thing I was sad I missed out on last week. Well, I take that back. We had mashed potatoes….from KFC…after going to the race track. Yeah. Totally didn’t count.

Mmm. Potatoes. I really, really love potatoes.

Then after the potatoes, I moved on to the other vegetables. The next being Red Swiss Chard. All of my chopping pics came out blurry, but essentially, I cut the stems off, chopped them into 2 inch pieces, and then I chopped the leaves into strips.

Then I heated up some olive oil, garlic and onions in a small pot.

Once the onions were browned up, I added the swiss chard to the pot. Unfortunately, since I was using my larger pot for the potatoes, I only had this tiny pan and I had a hard time getting the chard in there. I made it work though.

When it was done, it looked like this. It was pretty hot…had a hard time getting a shot without mass amounts of steam. Was pressed for time and couldn’t wait for them to cool, so this was the best shot I got. Yeah. Fail.

Good news is that it was delicious! I had never had swiss chard before. Total win!

Last thing in my kitchen I needed to go through was my bok choy. I had originally planned to do a stir fry with chicken, but since I never managed to get around to cooking last week, I ended up just doing a stir fry of the bok choy on its own.

Well, with onions and garlic. But, you know, kind of on its own.

Also added some soy sauce, white wine vinegar and a tiny bit of hoisin sauce for sweet.

Tasty!

Such a weird hodge podge of food on my stove.

(And look how ridiculous the bok choy pot looks on my tiny studio’s 3/4 size range!)

And it was about to get weirder.

I was looking at all of the things I had cooked. I tasted them all. They were good….but the mashed potatoes’ seasoning just wasn’t what I was going for. They had a little Land O Lakes Light Canola Oil Butter, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese in them. Also a tiny bit of skim milk…normally I’d add yogurt for creaminess, but I was out. They were good…but not what I wanted.

After staring at the stove for a few more minutes, I did something really weird. I dumped the pot of red swiss chard into the mashed potatoes.

Kind of different, kind of tasty. Who knew?

What’s been cooking in your kitchen lately?