Sunday, January 22, 2012

Potato and Greens Soup - CSA and a Fridge on the Fritz

Our fridge has been on the fritz.  I noticed on Thursday that the milk just didn't seem cold.  So I mentioned it to my spouse.  He vacuumed out the coils and all, checked various parts of the fridge, but it still didn't seem quite right.  So Friday, we called the Sears repairman.  It's a 10 year old Kenmore fridge.  I was starting to think that I might have to bring home my mini-fridge from the office.

Spouse met the fridge guy at home, and he diagnosed the problem.  It cost us 70 bucks for the diagnosis.  The fan in the freezer was not running.  I guess the way the fridge works is that there's a fan in the freezer that blows cold air into the fridge, but the fan had stopped running.  He tapped it and it started again, but noted that it probably needed replacing.  The cost for the part would be $90, and labor would be $200.  But he told my husband that there's a local store that would sell the part for $60, and all he had to do is remove four screws and plug the thing in.  So, being engineers, that's what we decided to do.  But oops, they aren't open on the weekend, so we've been spending our weekend constantly checking on the fridge.  It's gone out at least one more time.  Thank you Sears repair guy for the money-saving tip.

This week from the CSA we got organic Yukon Gold potatoes and a bag of mixed "stir-fry greens". This is a mix of dark leafies.  There's a few kinds of kale, and what looks like cabbage and radiccio, maybe some dandelion greens too.   I felt inspired to make soup based on a BBC show I watched on line, that was linked from this post of a blog that I really enjoy.  Turns out that soup makes you feel fuller longer.  And I've been loving my Blendtec since I got it for my birthday a couple of years ago.  I also have an immersion blender that I use for slightly chunkier soups.

I also pulled out my cookbook from Nikki and David Goldbeck called American Wholefoods Cuisine, and found a recipe for "Potato and Greens Soup".  I used their recommendations on how long to cook the soup with just the potatoes and after you add the greens. 

It was quite delicious, but needed a tad more salt.  I always under-salt my soup and need to add more later.  You can use water or vegetable stock instead.  I roasted two chickens of chicken parts last weekend, and saved all of the bones in the freezer.  So, step 1 of the soup yesterday was to make the stock.

Potato and Greens Soup
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, pressed
About 6-8 cups chicken stock (I just eyeballed it until it looked right)
1.5 lb potatoes, diced (I left on the peels because they are nutritious and were organic)
1 bag or 1 bunch greens
1/2 to 1 tsp oregano
1/2 to 1 tsp marjoram
pinch fresh rosemary ('cuz we had it)
1 cup shredded cheese (I used an Italian blend)
S&P to taste

Saute the onion in olive oil in a pot until soft.  Add the garlic and saute one more minute.  Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil.  Add the oregano and marjoram.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, 15 minutes.

Meanwhile wash the greens and remove tough stems.  Remove cover on soup when potatoes have been cooked 15 minutes and add the greens.  Cover again and cook 15 minutes.  Add the rosemary. 

Move the soup to a clean, cool stockpot.  I find that when I want to puree the soup in the blender, I need two pots, and I need to cool the soup.  So I first move the soup to a cool pot (in this case, the one I had the stock in), and then after it cools about 5 minutes, I puree it in batches in the blender.  Then I move the pureed soup back to the original pot.  Makes more dishes, but it easier.

Once the soup is pureed, return to low heat and add the cheese, S&P.  Delicious!

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