Friday, March 12, 2010

Potter County Potatoes

One of the crops we're investigating growing as we transition to organic is potatoes. For years we've grown our potatoes without chemical fertilizer, herbicides or pesticides so we know it can be done - as evidenced by this photo of the 2009 crop. For 2010 we've ordered a selection of organic certified seed potato varieties and can't wait for the package to arrive!
Meanwhile, we still have a goodly amount of last fall's potatoes in the cellar. If anyone is interested in purchasing some, let us know and we'll get them to you. We have reds and whites.
Here's a recipe, modified from my dog-eared copy of a 1972 version of "Recipes For A Small Planet," for potato soup.

1/4 cup butter (you can use oil and and/or use less but I like the rich flavor that butter adds)
2 large onions, chopped
2 cups diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
In a large soup pot, saute the onions, carrots and celery in butter until the onions are transparent. Sprinkle with a bit salt and pepper during this process.
Add 6-8 medium potatoes, diced (you can add more if you wish), 1 tsp. dried marjoram, 1 tsp. dill seeds, 1 tsp. caraway seeds and about a quart of vegetable stock or water to comfortably cover the vegetables. Simmer until potatoes are cooked.
Dissolve 1 1/2 cups milk powder in 2 cups of the cooking liquid (I use a blender for this process) and add back to the soup. Adjust the seasoning - it will probably need additional salt. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley or chives or a bit of chopped sweet onion. Homemade salt rising bread is a wonderful accompaniment but we'll need to invite a guest blogger to provide that recipe!
If you don't care for the strong flavors of the caraway seeds or dill seeds, omit them. A little bit of dried dill is good with the soup.

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