Potato Leek Soup


potatoes–2 to 2 1/2 lbs.
onion–one medium
leeks–2 big ones
water or broth
salt, pepper, nutmeg.

Slice big leeks lengthwise and wash thoroughly in a sinkfull of water, separating the leaves enough to remove dirt. Melt 1/4 stick butter or more in big soup pot. Add an onion, chopped, and leeks, chopped, and cook gently until soft.

Add potatoes, peeled and chopped, and a little salt and pepper. Add water or broth to come not quite to the top of the vegetables (don’t drown them or you’ll have watery soup), and simmer until the potatoes are soft.

Remove from heat and whirl with hand blender; smooth is nice, but a few small chunks and flecks are interesting and less reminiscent of baby food. Add a little more salt and pepper.

Thin with approximately a pint or more of any combination of whole milk, half and half, and heavy cream–not too thick/not too thin. You have to use your own judgment on the texture and seasoning, so try it. Season with nutmeg, but go easy–start with a quarter teaspoon and taste it. Melt another lump of butter into the soup.

Serve in wide bowls. A sprinkle of something green is pretty if you have it–parsley or chives or even a bit of cilantro. If you have some good bread that’s gone stale you could make big chunky croutons with it and float a few!

Shared by Eleanor Hartmann

No Knead Bread – Slow & Speedy Versions

No-Knead Bread
Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery
1 hour 30 minutes (plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising)

• 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
• 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast (I use 1/2 teaspoon)
• 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
• Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed
1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.
One 1 1/2-pound loaf

SPEEDY No-Knead Bread:

Time: About 1 hour, plus 4 1/2 hours’ resting
3 cups bread flour
1 packet instant yeast (or a generous spoonful of bulk yeast)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Oil as needed.
1. Combine flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups water and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy (add a little extra if the dough isn’t wet everywhere). Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest about 4 hours at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees (or warm the oven just a little, turn it off, and let the dough absorb the warmth).
2. Lightly oil a work surface and place dough on it; fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes more.
3. Meanwhile, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6-to-8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats for a half hour. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under dough and put it into pot, seam side up. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.
4. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.
Yield: 1 big loaf.

Shared by Eleanor Hartmann

Lamb Shanks

Lamb Shanks, basic method

2 large lamb shanks (or 3 or 4 small ones)

1 big onion, chopped, plus a leek if you have one

several whole garlic cloves

olive oil or butter

salt and pepper

a little orange juice if you have it

dried sour cherries–or prunes or cranberries

1 cup sweet wine or brandy (Marsala, Port, cheap sherry, Cognac, Slivovitz–whatever)

1 1/2 cups water (or broth)

Cook onions slowly in olive oil in an ovenproof pan or dutch oven. I use my medium iron kettle–or the big one if I have more shanks; the pot should be crowded but the meat shouldn’t be piled up.

Rinse lamb shanks. Add lamb, peeled garlic cloves, 1 cup water, orange juice if you have it, liquor, salt, pepper (whole peppercorns are nice), and dried cherries. The liquid should not quite cover the meat so little islands stick up. Cover and bring to a simmer.

Move pan to oven at 325 degrees for two hours (covered). Check and turn shanks over at least once. Halfway through add a little more water if it’s cooked down too much; you want to make a nice dense brown sauce, not soup. Uncover and bake for or 30 minutes longer until meat is browned and the sauce has thickened.

I always bring the pot to the table just like that, but if that’s too crude, the meat can be removed from the bones and cut in pieces.

Serve with mashed potatoes. I sometimes roast half a large eggplant and mash it with yukon gold potatoes plus quite a bit of sour cream and a little butter, salt and pepper. I boil a few garlic cloves with the potatoes and mash it all together. Celeriac is nice too when it’s mixed with potatoes.

Crusty bread to mop up the gravy is nice. (see no-knead bread recipe)

Share by Eleanor Hartmann

Soup Bones

Bone Soup – (I live alone and rather appreciate rough and primitive!)

2 packages or one big package of meaty soup bones
onion–1 big onion or two not-so-big ones
celery tops
turnips & greens

I slicked the bottom of the iron soup pot with a dab of butter, then browned the meaty bones on medium heat for about fifteen minutes, turning them over two or three times.
I coarsely chunked a couple of onions and some tender celery tops and dropped them in the pot with several whole cloves of garlic. I covered it all with water, dropped in some coarse Celtic sea salt (available at the co-op), some whole peppercorns (Tellicherry), and a glug of Bragg’s vinegar (vinegar helps draw the calcium out of the bones and into the broth), turned it to low and simmered gently for two or two and a half hours with the lid on till the meat was very soft.

I scrubbed (but did not peel) and roughly cut into chunks several items from my garden: small potatoes (most went in whole), a couple of tender turnips and their greens (not a huge bouquet on these turnips), half a cabbage, a big sweet carrot (I made big wedges; somehow I’m really tired of coin shaped carrots). I dumped these in the pot and with a little more salt and simmered the whole thing for 20 to 30 minutes more.

I put a meaty marrow bone with meat hanging on it and some soup with the roughly chunked veggies into my wide bowl, sprinkled on a little more coarse salt and a grind of pepper, and all by myself I enjoyed a remarkably fragrant and flavorful soup. Except for one lump of fat that seemed bigger than a mouthful, I ate the fat, the very soft and toothsome cartilage, and best of all the marrow, which sent me into ecstasies.

Remember, humans have always enjoyed the exceptional nutrition of marrow, and the fat of pastured and wild animals has all good cholesterol, not the nasty stuff from industrial feedlot animals. You won’t be hungry for a long time after a bowl of this soup!

The next day in the garden I found a small zucchini, half a dozen green beans, and a few little brussels sprouts and added those in for variation. A tomato might be nice too.

Shared by Eleanor Hartmann

My Mother’s Celeriac Soup

You’ll need:
1 big celeriac root plus celery greens
1 medium onion
3 large carrots
3 gloves of garlic
3 leeks
4 potatoes
2 bay leafs
oregano (lot’s, fresh & dried)
chix stock (optional)

Sautee onions, carrots & celery greens in pork fat or olive oil. After 10 minutes add leeks, potatoes, garlic and spices. Add water or chix stock, bring to a boil and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Take potato smasher and mush up veggies. I like the consistency much better than blending it.
This is traditionally served with Apfelkuechelchen, apple slices, dragged through pancake batter and fried, then topped with sugar and cinnamon. Wonderful Winter meal.
Guten Appetit,

Curried Squash, Carrot and Apple Soup

I just recently made this soup at a housewarming potluck and everyone raved about it, so I thought I would share the recipe with the rest of the coop. I managed to get all of the ingredients locally, except for the coconut milk (obviously – got that at the coop).

I should note that when I cook, I don’t really measure anything out. I just sort of play it by ear, taste it as I go and, ya know, improv. So, bear with the vague measurements.

Ingredients –
* 1 acorn squash (any kind of squash would work fine though)
* ~2 lbs of carrots
* ~1 lb of yellow apples (picked from the tree across from the farmers market : )
* 1 can coconut milk
* ~1 med onion

Spices –
* Salt to taste
* 1 or 2 tablespoons turmeric
* 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (or to taste)
* 1/2-1 tablespoon of curry seasoning
* dash of cayenne
* teaspoon of ground pepper

Start a fairly big pot of water boiling (you’ll want to adjust quantities to the amount of water obviously – I did about 3L – a gallon?). Peel the squash shell off with a knife while the water is getting hot, chop it up into pieces and throw em in the pot. Once they are really mushy, beat them into the water so that a nice base is formed. Mix in the coconut milk. Add the carrots, onions and spices, then a bit later (as the carrots are starting to soften) add in the apples. Simmer for a while longer and enjoy : )

This soup comes off the stove a lovely yellowish orange color if you use yellow apples and is a nice to look at as it is to taste (in my opinion). You can modify this recipe to your heart’s content (obviously), but some ideas that I thought about but didn’t carry out were adding garlic and/or ginger.

Hope you like it! It’s a good one for the onset of the rainy season!

Shared by Christopher Small