I am a soup addict. I will eat it for breakfast, and certainly again for meals later in the day. So naturally, my thoughts turned to sweet, creamy chowder as I was harvesting golden potatoes buried outside in the dirt.
It was overcast and cloudy as I was harvesting our Duke of York spuds, so my inherent craving for soup was heightened by the murky sky above, which by the way, was the same color as chowder!!
A few notes about the growing process: After chitting the potatoes for about a month in early spring, we planted them out into beds that were made from wooden pallet boards left out for recycling by the nearby industrial estates. We mixed together sifted top soil with a bit of compost. We haven’t given these plants any top dressings, seaweed, or comfry, so suffice to say, they don’t ask for much. They grow quickly, though!
You have to keep covering the plants as they grow taller. The newly covered stems will turn into potato-producing roots. They will get large and bushy. Then, they will produce beautiful flowers. Our Duke of York spuds were ‘early potatoes,’ so they flowered in the beginning of July. When the flowers die off, you can start to harvest. Round about now they are systematically being made into meals like potato-corn-kale chowder!
To start the soup, I got one pot hot with olive oil and added my kale stalks, onion, thickly cut carrots, thyme, salt, and pepper. In another pot, I made a quick stock consisting largely of whole celery stalks and fresh herbs. I used thyme, sage, and a dill flower. The dill flower needed to be plucked from the stock after only a few minutes, otherwise it would have been totally overpowering. Once the stock had a bit of a rolling boil, I strained and added it to the sauteing vegetables, added the whole celery stalks to the new pot (to keep infusing flavor), and let it come back up to a boil. Next I added the potatoes, reduced the heat to a medium, and went outside to play fetch with my dog, Faith.
Ten or fifteen minutes later, the potatoes were doing their starchy thing that they do when you add potatoes in AFTER the boil. At this point I swirled in a glug of soy milk, and a heaping tablespoon of that killer pesto paste. Shortly thereafter it was time to add a tin of sweet corn, lots of thinly chopped kale leaves, salt, and pepper.
As it so happens, the next and only step left was to get a heavy hitting dose of chowder into my soup craving system!