Wednesday, March 25, 2009


This is a recipe I adapted from “Chez Panisse: Vegetables” by Alice Waters. I’ve always been intimidated by this cookbook and I can’t believe I’ve actually changed an Alice Waters recipe – but it was partly due to available ingredients and partly because I much prefer heirloom potatoes to Russets. Anyway, I thought it was really good, my friend Merritt loved it – the kids were not hot on it but I think that was more a texture thing for Morgan (“it tastes like grits!”). Audrey actually ate a bit of it when I served her some with no greens or sour cream.

2 leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed well and diced
1 medium onion, diced
6 tablespoons butter, divided
salt and pepper
6 small turnips, 2 bunches greens included if you have them, if not:
2 small bunches other greens (I used kale), stemmed & chopped
4 – 6 small potatoes
1 small sweet potato
1 – 2 quarts chicken stock
sour cream for garnish (optional)

Heat 4 tablespoons butter in a Dutch Oven or heavy-bottomed stock pot. Add leeks and onions and sauté over medium heat until soft but not brown, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Reserve 2 bunches of greens from turnips. Peel and dice the turnips and potatoes, placing in a large bowl of water as you go to prevent browning. Drain, and then add to the leeks and onions, stirring gently for about 5 minutes. Add the stock, bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 – 30 minutes, until all vegetables are tender.

Hopefully you have an immersion blender (you’ll never make pureed soups if you don’t because transferring to a blender to puree is just too much of a pain) with which you can puree this soup. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat the 2 tablespoons butter and sauté the greens over high heat until just wilted. Add a little bit of stock and puree them (she suggests a blender – which did not work for me – or a food mill – which I don’t have, so I tried the immersion blender which was better).

Serve soup warm, stirring in a large spoonful of the pureed greens. A bit of sour cream on top is nice, too.

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