Saturday, January 29, 2011

Winter Farmer's Market: Potato-Leek Soup

Potato-Leek Soup (The City Tavern Cookbook) and onion & garlic burrata on sunflower bread

I had a lovely morning at the Farmer's Market, enjoying a chance to chat briefly with two fabulous people (hi, Alex and Claire!), and I headed straight for Jordan Bros. Fish upstairs, having enjoyed the scallops I bought last week. This week I bought some flounder (in addition to more scallops), which I will be making tomorrow night. Next to Jordan Bros. were two of my favorite Somerville companies: Taza Chocolate and Fiore di Nonno, so some 80% chocolate and Onion/Garlic burrata jumped into my bag.

When I got home I realized I still had potatoes and leeks from last week's market (Enterprise Farm) that I never cooked, and the leeks still looked fine, so that was the priority for tonight. I wanted to make what is probably an amazing and fantastic potato leek soup from Barbara Lynch (as found in her book, Stir), but a recipe calling for four cups of cream isn't really compatible with my desire to take off holiday pounds or my husband's cholesterol. So, I turned to my good ol' City Tavern Cookbook, and learned, among other things, that marjoram was a common 18th-c herb, even though you rarely see it used today. Thomas Jefferson "grew it in abundance at Monticello," evidently (City Tavern Cookbook, 85). This recipe doesn't call for any cream, so it is broth based and at least psychologically more "healthy" if one ignores the butter and bacon, (*ahem*).

City Tavern's Potato Leek Soup (again, I avoid giving the exact amounts due to copyright)

  • unsalted butter
  • leeks (white part only), chopped
  • chicken stock (yes, yes....I used store bought...)
  • red skinned potatoes (I used a mix of locally grown potatoes including gold and purple)
  • yellow onion
  • chopped lean bacon
  • dried marjoram
  • salt and pepper
I happened to buy smoked bacon from Stillman's at the Farmer's Market and WOW...that was even better in the soup than I had imagined. I trimmed off quite a lot of the fat, and the smokiness actually really did come out in the soup. The marjoram was a fantastic addition.

Confession: I'm not a big soup eater. I also don't enjoy making it that much. But this was so straightforward and tasty, I see myself making this a couple of times each winter.

Finally, I'd like to thank KB over at Prof Who Cooks for the "Stylish Blogger Award." I'm not sure I'm deserving of anything preceded by the word "Stylish," but I'm honored, just the same. I will be sending the award on in the next week or so.