Cooking For One: "Soup Is What You Make Yourself"
DISH: Green Potato Leek Soup
TYPE: Quintessential Cooking for One
MAIN INGREDIENT: Greens, Potatoes, Leeks
“Soup!” Rocco kept saying into the mic: “Just make soup.”
Green Potato Leek Soup
Makes 3 servings
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 small potato (about 7 ounces)
1 tablespoon chives
1/2 onion, diced
3 leeks, white and light green parts, washed well and sliced
2 1/2 – 3 cups vegetable broth*
handful of greens—collards or kale, preferably
6 walnut halves
1 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
Note: to make the vegetable broth, just simmer the dark green parts of the leeks with a couple carrots, half an onion, some celery if you have it, and a garlic clove or two in 3-4 cups of water for about 30 minutes. Otherwise, use water or a watered-down purchased broth whose flavor you know you like.
Toast the walnuts in a dry pan or in the oven for about 8-10 minutes, until fragrant. Set aside.
Warm 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a small pan. Add the onions and the leeks and cook over medium heat until they’ve collapsed, about 10 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, scrape from the pan and set aside.
Warm the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil and add the potatoes. Cook until they’ve browned on all sides, then add the chives and another 1/4 teaspoon salt. Slowly, stir in the milk, and cook, letting it thicken, for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a blender or mini food processor, process the walnuts with the greens (you might want to tear up the leaves a bit before adding). Add up to a cup of stock or water to help smooth.
In a medium pot, mix together the pureed green-walnut mixture, the remaining stock, and the sauteed leeks and onions. Bring to a simmer and boil, uncovered, until slightly reduced. Stir in the potato-milk mixture and warm, stirring constantly so the milk doesn’t curdle. Grind in some pepper and add the remaining salt. Like many soups, this one tastes best reheated the following day.