PENINSULA KITCHEN: A warming fall soup from friends

With the weather turning quickly to fall, enjoy a warming soup.

RECENTLY, MY MOST favorite farmers, Doug Hendrickson and Lee Norton of Salt Creek Farm, were honored as Farmers of the Year at the North Olympic Land Trust annual Harvest Dinner.

I could not be more thrilled on a very personal level.

Because my husband, Tom Sanford, is the executive director of North Olympic Land Trust, I always attend the Harvest Dinner and support the mission of the organization to conserve lands that sustain the communities of Clallam County.

14 years strong

In addition, my family’s connection to Hendrickson, Norton and Salt Creek Farm is 14 years strong.

I’ve written about Salt Creek’s status as a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) before.

The way it works is that members invest money into a local farm at the beginning of the growing season, then receive a share of the produce each week of the growing season.

Members take on the risk of a poor season right alongside the farmers, but also partake in the joy of a bumper crop.

I did a little digging and it turns out I’ve been writing about food for just about exactly 10 years last week.

My first cropsheet newsletter went out to Salt Creek Farm members on Sept. 6, 2006.

I thought it would be nice to commemorate my own foodie anniversary along with celebrating our county’s first CSA farmers by sharing one of Hendrickson’s favorite recipes.

Truth be told, he was so busy on the farm last week growing my food that he could only muster this quick response when I asked for suggestions: “Potato leek soup is a favorite of mine. Pretty simple with some dill, onion, parsley, salt, pepper, garlic, milk or soy milk, potatoes and of course leeks. Chard, spinach, or cress make a nice addition too.”

Here’s my version of a dilled, potato and leek soup.

By all means, add in chard, spinach or cress like Hendrickson suggests or crumble some crispy bacon on top as my daughter likes it.

However you adapt this comforting fall recipe, take a moment to honor the farmers that grow our food and the community that supports their success.

Dilled potato and leek soup adapted from “Taste of Home”

1 cup sliced leeks (white portion only)

1 celery rib, chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

1½ teaspoons butter

2 cups chicken broth

1½ cups cubed peeled Yukon Gold potatoes

1 large carrot, finely chopped

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

½ cup buttermilk (milk, cream or soy milk can also be used)

1½ teaspoons chopped parsley

1½ teaspoons snipped fresh dill or ½ teaspoon dill weed

In a large saucepan, sauté leeks, celery and garlic in butter until tender.

Stir in the broth, potatoes, carrot, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Cool slightly.

Transfer to a blender. Cover and process until smooth. Return to the pan.

Alternatively, use an immersion blender right in the pot to process.

Whisk a small amount of soup into buttermilk. Return all to the pan, stirring constantly.

Add parsley and dill. Heat through (do not boil).

Yields 3¾ cups.

________

Carrie Sanford, who shares the Peninsula Kitchen column with Betsy Wharton, is a mother, wife, educator, artist, activist and cook.

She writes the newsletter for Salt Creek Farm in Joyce during the growing season and volunteers with nonprofits and schools in Port Angeles, where she lives with her husband, Tom Sanford, and their daughter, Abby.

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