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By Susan Reda

Irish Heritage and an appreciation for Potato and Leek Soup

By Susan Reda Posted March 13, 2012 at 9:25 pm

We have Sir Walter Raleigh to thank for debunking the notion that potatoes were poisonous and, indeed, planting them on property he owned in Ireland in the 16th Century.  The Irish knew a good thing when they saw it and a hundred years later were growing and consuming the potato in great quantities.   I love all kinds of potatoes; russets for baking, red and new potatoes for roasting.  And Yukon golds for soups.  My Irish mother always impressed upon me not to peel thin-skinned potatoes, as there were many vitamins within those skins.  Just add them in the pot!  The Yukon gold boiling potatoes have a moist, almost succulent texture with a faint buttery yellow color.  I am learning that these “new” varieties are actually heritage varieties that date back centuries.
 
Potatoes are low in sodium, high in potassium, and important source of complex carbohydrates and vitamins C and B-6. And, only 120 calories for a 6 oz. potato.  Forgo the butter and cheese and enjoy the texture and nutrients, by adding a drizzle of olive oil, salt & pepper and fresh chopped herbs, like parsley and chives.
 
Inspired by knowledge that a potato offers more potassium than a banana, that leeks are sulfur rich and important to a healthy diet, I decided to create this simple yet, super nutritious and delicious recipe to share with Chapelboro readers.
 
 
 
Grace’s Potato and Leek Soup
 

 
Preparation:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Mis en place vegetables, ingredients and utensils
 
Ingredients:
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
6 med. sized Yukon gold potatoes, cut in 1- 1 ½ inch cubes
2 leeks, white and light green only, rinsed and cut in ½ inch slices
3 large cloves of peeled garlic
1 qt. chicken or vegetable stock
2-3 cups of buttermilk
 
Directions:
Toss cut potatoes, leeks and garlic with 1 – 2 T olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper. Place in a roasting pan loosely covered with foil. Roast in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or when potatoes are almost fork tender.
 
 
 
Transfer roasted vegetable to stockpot.  Add 1 quart of stock.  Bring to gentle boil and cook partially covered for 10 minutes.  Cool until almost room temp.  Add 2 cups of buttermilk. 
 
Process with immersion blender or by parts in a blender or food processor.  Re-combine and stir.  Garnish with chives or tender parts of the leeks.
 
This spring soup, served room temp, chilled or warmed is delightful as a component for a brunch, a shooter starter, or a mid course palate cleansing.
 

 
Here’s to your health and gustatory gratification!

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