Saturday, October 31, 2009

Vegan Potato Leek Swiss Chard Soup!

This is going to be a picture-free post because, quite frankly, pictures of potato and leek soup are generally disgusting.

It's the end of October, and our CSA is winding down. No longer in the warm, heady days of summer, our farmer has been sending a lot of carrots, celery, potatoes and dark, leafy greens. This week we got a couple of leeks, too, so last night's recipe was pretty obvious: potato, leek and swiss chard soup.

Matt and Batya invited Nicole and me to their place for dinner last night. It was a lovely autumn meal on a beautiful, warm mid-autumn evening. We started out with Batya's zucchini fritters - crispy little pancakes full of feta and dill and dipped in a tzatsiki sauce - and some of the cheese Nicole brought back from Vermont - a soft, creamy and sharp horseradish cheddar and a firmer, milder sage cheddar. Yum!

Batya made a delicious salad out of this week's lettuce, apples, thinly sliced red onions and Annie's goddess dressing. Everyone raved about it - apples in salad are so good. They add just enough crunch and sweetness and... I don't know, awesomeness. Trust me, the salad was good times all around.

Second course was the soup. I'd looked at a bunch of recipes, but most of the traditional ones wouldn't work for one reason or another. Nicole and Batya are both vegetarians, and Nicole can't have too much dairy, so a traditional chicken-stock-and-milk recipe was not going to cut it. I found this recipe online and used it as a basic guideline to bring our soup to fruition.

The initial saute in the dutch oven combined a carrot, some celery, an onion and three cloves of garlic with some olive oil and a little bit of dried thyme. We let them brown a bit and get soft, then added three very small leeks, one very large mutant leek and about four cups of brown-skinned potatoes, scrubbed and peeled by the fabulous Sous Chef Matt Berman. A few more minutes of cooking passed, then we added five cups of water and five veggie bullion cubes, a bay leaf, some fresh thyme and a whole bunch of fresh dill and let it all bubble away for forty minutes or so while we drank some wine and chatted and played with Matt and Batya's six week old son. (Cutest baby ever, by the way!)

When everything was nice and soft and combined, we stuck the immersion blender into the pot and blended it all up into a delicious, veggie-full puree. The swiss chard was chopped into thin ribbons and added, along with salt and pepper, for a quick wilt into the soup. We served it up with slices of sourdough bread to good reviews all around! (I still think it could have used some butter and a splash or two of half and half... but that's just my love of dairy fat speaking. Even vegan, the soup was delicious!)

Dessert was cheesecake and chocolate covered strawberries, picked up by Batya in honor of Nicole's birthday. Aww! Happy birthday, Nicole!

I'm going to be out of town for the next couple of weeks, so this week's CSA delivery was one of the last for me. I'm gonna miss it over the winter, but I'm definitely looking forward to next year! I'll continue to update the blog with adventures in wintertime Greenmarket cooking... celeraic remoulade, anyone?


  1. K.L., I'm sure you're able to make photograps of potato/leek soup appetizing. I like the pictures.

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