In the exuberance of spring this year I planted a raised bed vegetable garden. Previously we had tilled the existing ground and planted what was most inclined to grow there. But I wanted more. I wanted things that grew deeper like carrots, potatoes, onions and leeks. So I hauled a bunch of organic manure from Carpe Diem Farms, and hay bales to use as retaining walls. Hay bales compost at the end of the season, retain moisture during dry spells, keep the bed warm when it gets cold and protect the garden from wind and driving rain. My efforts were rewarded with a generous row of leeks that made their way into this fragrant and heart warming soup. Leeks are frost tolerant and can be grown (organically of course!) in the early spring and late summer for a fall crop. They take approximately 95 days to harvest.
2 quarts organic vegetable or chicken stock
3 large leeks or 4-5 smaller ones including some greens
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
4 russet potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
¼ teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
½ teaspoon granular kelp
½ cup heavy organic cream
2 tablespoons organic sour cream
Prepare leeks by cutting down the center lengthwise and wash thoroughly. Remove the tough outer greens and trim the tops. Add leeks, caraway seeds, and bay leaf to broth and simmer for 20 minutes. Add potatoes, kelp, salt and pepper, cover and simmer another 20 minutes. Add parsley and simmer until potatoes fall apart. Remove from heat and cool. Puree in blender, return to pot, add cream and sour cream and heat through. Serve with fresh baked bread and garnish with parsley and/or toasted ground caraway seeds.