Monday, November 21, 2011

Princess Makes It Monday - Garlicky Potato Chard Soup

Princess is making Garlicky Potato Chard soup this Monday.  If you've never tried chard before, it tastes a lot like fresh spinach, but it doesn't get as soggy or wilty when you cook it, and it's our absolute favorite green!  The recipe is easy, and only requires eyeball measuring.
homegrown red, white and blue potatoes

Here's the recipe:
1-2 tablespoons of oil
1/2 stick butter
about 1 teaspoon dried thyme
a heaping spoonful of minced garlic (we use the stuff in the jar)
about 3-5 pounds of potatoes, peeled and cubed - feel free to use prepackaged
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
Water or more stock if desired
1 small bunch chard, any color (green, red or rainbow - all tastes the same), stems removed and sliced into thin strips

So we also practiced time management in the kitchen last night - an important lesson for anyone, not just homeschool.

Start by drizzling olive oil in a large soup pan.  Add the butter, and melt it into the oil over medium heat.

When butter has melted, add dried thyme and garlic.  And, yes, we like LOTS of garlic!

Cover, turn off heat and let rest.  This infuses your oil with more flavor.

So, this is where the time management come in - doing 2 things at once.  While your oil is being infused, peel and chop your potatoes into cubes.  We used our potatoes from our garden.  There were some really weird shaped ones, so we did the superfast-peel-and-cube-at-the-same-time method.  Place a potato on your cutting board and cut one end off to make a flat surface.
Put the flat side down (gives you some stability), then continue cutting off the peel of the potato by slicing off straight edges.  You do lose a bit of potato this way, but I've tried peeling some of these with a potato peeler.  I'd rather lose some potato than lose a finger!  Certainly not wishing THAT on my beginner chef!

Anyway, after you have gotten the peel off, you can cut the rectangular block into smaller cubes.  I highly recommend this because they will cook faster.  Put the cubes into the heated oil and stir to coat.  Add stock, and bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Allow to bubble for about 20-30 minutes, or til potatoes are tender and can be mashed.

Mash with a potato masher or immersion blender, your choice.  We like ours really chunky, so we use the potato masher.  Give everything a good stir.  If it seems too thick, or too dry, add water or more stock.

Add chard to pot, cover, and remove from heat.  Allow to stand for at least 10 minutes to wilt chard.  You want it wilted, but not soggy.  If you need to give it a little more heat to move it along because you have a hungry hoard on your hands, use low heat, and only for a few minutes.

Serve hot with a crusty bread if desired.  Also can be topped with cheese and/or sour cream and/or crisped bacon.  We also think this would be good with some diced ham.

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