Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dark Days 9: Potato Leek Soup

February is fast-approaching, which means I've been thinking about onions.

Onions can be transplanted as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring, and you need about 4-6 weeks to grow onions from seed to transplanting size. This whole seed-starting thing is all about working backwards - you start at the date that you want to put your plants in the garden and subtract the appropriate number of weeks to find your seed-starting date.

In my case, I want to start my onions in mid-February, so that I can be prepared for planting out onions on April Fools' Day or shortly thereafter. I have a few raised garden beds that warm up and dry out well before the ground does, so I have been able to get peas and some cold-hardy transplants out in early April. 

Here's a great show-and-tell article from MOFGA about starting and planting onions. I had very little success growing onions last year, so I hope this year goes a little bit better.

It's good to have things to look forward to, especially when we've had more freezing rain than snow this winter. In the meantime, as I wait to pull out the grow lights and seed-starting mix, I've been cleaning the house and working on using up my stockpile of food from last season. 

I tried making soup again, as my last Dark Days soup was a dismal failure - and turned out a hearty and simple potato-leek soup. This soup is not much to look at; its resemblance to wall plaster is striking and somewhat unappetizing. But fortunately, it tastes really good!

The chickens prefer that we eat vegetable-based soups.

I used Deborah Madison's recipe from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, but this soup is so easy, I'm not sure you need a recipe, other than to get the proportions of leek to potato correct. I love easy.

Potato leek soup takes 7 ingredients - in order of addition to the pot, you will need butter, leeks, potatoes, salt, water, milk and pepper. If you do not have leeks, you can use scallions.

Locally-sourced ingredients:
Butter - Cabot Creamery
Leeks - Spring Ledge Farm
Potatoes - my garden
Milk - McNamara Dairy (purchased at Spring Ledge Farm)

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