The Milkweed Diaries

Friday, July 3, 2009

Robbing Potatoes

A freshly robbed potato

We've finally started "robbing" new potatoes from the potato patch--hurrah! Robbing is a thrilling process of rooting around with your hands in the potato beds until you feel . . . Viola! A potato! It's a treasure hunt with a delicious, nutritious reward.

Once you find the potato, slip your fingers around it and gently extract it without harming the roots and stems, leaving the potato plant to grow and thrive and produce loads more potatoes throughout the summer and into the fall. Robbed new potatoes seem like a bonus prize, a little special extra treat.

This morning, I robbed several overflowing handfuls of Yukon Gold potatoes from our potato hills.

New potatoes, leeks, and collard greens.

We happen to have a large quantity of raw cow's milk from next door to use up before it goes bad, and leeks and celery ready to harvest in the garden, so a creamy potato soup was clearly in order.

I sometimes like to add sturdy greens of some sort (collards, kale, cabbage) to potato soup, but not too much as to overwhelm things. And there were collards galore in the garden, so a soup was born:

Creamy soup with New Potatoes, Leeks, Collards, and Celery
  • 8-12 new potatoes
  • 3-4 leeks
  • A small bunch of collard greens, cut into very thin strips
  • A handful of celery stalks of any size (we're growing a gorgeous heirloom red stalk celery that can be harvested at any stage by the stalk), sliced thinly
  • Fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 3-4 cups of milk (raw if possible!)
  • 3-5 Tbs. butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • A generous handful of fresh dill leaves
Ingredients on their way to the kitchen.

  1. Cut potatoes and leeks into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Saute leeks in a generous amount of butter in a heavy soup pot. Add salt.
  3. When leeks are soft, add potatoes and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir, cover and cook, adding water as necessary.
  4. Add collards and celery. Add a little water to keep things juicy. Continue to cook, stirring.
  5. Add water and cook on medium heat until everything is nice and soft.
  6. About 5 minutes before serving, add parsley and continue cooking.
  7. Turn off the heat, stir in the milk, and cover.
  8. Tear up a bunch of fresh dill, sprinkle in, and stir. Mash everything up a little bit with the back of a ladle if you want the soup to have a creamier texture.
  9. Let sit for a minute or two to cool and for all the flavors to meld. Add more salt to taste. Serve!
The soup
. . .

We had the soup with a salad fresh from the garden -- lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, and edible flowers and a garlickey dressing from our own garlic. Every ingredient was from the garden, with the exception of the milk, which was from the cow next door, and the salt, pepper, and butter, which, along with the oil and vinegar in the salad dressing, were from somewhere far away.


No comments: