The Potato Harvest
After the season of tender care- from hilling the soil to hand picking the potato beetle larvae off of the leaves, the time has finally come to reap the benefits of our labors. You know that potatoes are ready to harvest when the plant dies back. Using a garden fork, very carefully (as not to stab any potatoes) loosen the soil along the row of planted potatoes. And then come the fun part; harvesting potatoes is a bit like digging for gold. Your hands are the best tool for finding all of the potatoes, which grow out of the roots of the plant. Each plant will have five or six potatoes, clinging onto the small root. Ideally, you will leave the potatoes on the ground until the soil dries on them, and then once you brush the soil off, allow them to cure dry in a cool dry place for 2 weeks. Potatoes will store for months if properly stored.
However, if you are impatient as I am and want to try your potatoes sooner, this is my plan for this week:
Potato Leek Soup Recipe
- Prep time: 5 minutes
- Cook time: 30 minutes
- 3 large leeks, cut lengthwise, separate, clean. Use only the white and pale green parts, chop.
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian option)*
- 2 lbs potatoes, peeled, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
- Marjoram – dash
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- Tabasco sauce or other red chili sauce
- Salt & Pepper
*If cooking gluten-free, be sure to use gluten-free broth.
1 Cook leeks in butter with salt and pepper in a medium sized sauce pan. Cover pan, cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Check often. Do not brown leeks! Browning will give leeks a burnt taste.
2 Add water, broth, and potatoes. Bring to a low simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Scoop about half of the soup mixture into a blender, puree and return to pan. Add marjoram, parsley, and thyme. Add a few dashes of chili sauce to taste. Add some freshly ground pepper, 1-2 teaspoons salt or more to taste.
Yield: Serves 4-6.