Potato, leek and winter greens soup.

After a summer diet heavy on tomatoes, corn and zucchini, I’m finally embracing the change of seasons and a shift to cooler-weather veggies like potatoes, winter squash and onions. I suppose the chore of pulling the dessicated tomato vines out of the garden on a cool, cloudy day recently has shifted my mindset.

It’s the beauty of eating seasonally: Just when you’re so. sick. and. tired. of zucchini, the farmers’ markets start showing acorn squash and sweet potatoes. And our tastes change, right? The other day, I had a very serious craving for a ginormous baked potato loaded with butter and salt. As A.A. Milne observed, “What I say is that, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.”

Indeed.

So here’s a perfectly seasonal recipe for potato-leek soup with winter greens that’s based on a recipe from Alice Waters’s “The Art of Simple Food.” Hers features onions and kale; I swapped leeks and Swiss chard, which continues to thrive in my meager vegetable garden. As with most soups, this one gains character and flavor with time, so make it a day or two ahead of when you plan to serve it. This soup is  low in fat and calories, as well, and it’s a terrific option for both lunch and dinner.

potato leek and greens soup recipe

serves 4 to 6

1 large bunch kale or Swiss chard, washed, thick stems removed and chopped
1 cup chopped leek
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large soup pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat; add the leek and stir to coat with oil. Cook the leek until it's very soft and translucent (but not browned), about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the potatoes and greens and cook about 5 minutes; season well with a generous pinch of kosher salt. Add the vegetable stock; bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are very tender, about 30 minutes. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a drizzle of very good olive oil over the top.

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