Passover will be unlike anything that most of us have ever experienced before. This is what it looks like in my kitchen, so far. I am cleaning, but not with my usual zeal. I have a fair amount of kosher L’Pesach products, but this year I will be forgiving, and will use substitutions, within reason. And I am cooking, but not creating. For me this Pesach is about basics. Over 30 years ago I helped work on a cookbook for my kids’ day school, Sinai Akiba Academy. It was titled Pesach Potpourri and my old stained and coverless copy comes out of the closet every year. Yes the recipes are dated and pretty standard, but right now it’s all I need, and this year it will be my main source for Passover cooking.
Last week I placed two orders of potatoes by mistake, and ended up with 15 pounds. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a hardship for someone whose parents were Polish. I will be serving them mashed, fried and in simple frittatas, but this week I made a big pot of potato leek soup, a standard recipe that I’ve made for years. I didn’t have leeks so I had to substitute onions. I didn’t have cream, so I used milk, and I decided to make it a little healthier by throwing in some spinach and broccoli. It’s great soup for Passover because potatoes, and leeks or onions, seem to be plentiful. It can be served cold, warm, or even room temperature. I prefer it on the thicker side but you can add as much cream or milk as you want to thin it out. In Pesach Potpourri there is a similar recipe that calls for 2 cups of grated Cheddar to be added before serving. It’s a recipe that’s forgiving, and this Passover we could all use some of that. Chag Sameach.
Basic Potato Leek Soup
4 Tablespoons sweet butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 Leeks, trimmed down till light green part, thinly sliced OR 2 large onions, sliced
3 large Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
5 cups of pareve chicken stock or water
1/2 cup cream or milk
salt and pepper to tast
Add any veggies you want, I added spinach and broccoli.
In a large pot, over a low flame, saute leeks or onions in butter and oil for about five minutes. Add potatoes and broth and simmer till potatoes are very tender, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool and puree with an immersion blender. When soup has completely cooled down, add some milk or cream, and adjust seasoning.