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Many Shades of Green

A single gentle rain makes the grass many shades greener. So our prospects brighten on the influx of better thoughts. We should be blessed if we lived in the present always, and took advantage of every accident that befell us, like the grass which confesses the influence of the slightest dew that falls on it; and did not spend our time in atoning for the neglect of past opportunities, which we call doing our duty. We loiter in winter while it is already spring. — Henry David Thoreau, from Walden

Spring turnip and leek soup with toasted bread crumbs and sage

turnips, trimmed and diced
turnip greens, coarsely chopped
leek (white part only), thinly sliced
potato, peeled and diced
unsalted butter
chicken stock
kosher salt
white pepper
sage, chopped
creme fraiche
bread crumbs

For the breadcrumbs: Use stale bread preferably or trim slices from a roll or baguette. Cut off crusts if desired. Place on a baking sheet in a 250 F oven for 30 minutes to one hour or until bread is completely dry. Alternately, leave on a cutting board or table to dry overnight. Put into a food processor and pulse to desired consistency. Store in an airtight container.

For the soup: Saute onion in unsalted butter or until translucent, about 1-2 minutes. Add leek and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes, turnips and turnip greens. Saute for 3-5 minutes or until potatoes leave a thin film on the bottom of the pot. Check seasoning.

Add chicken stock and sage. Set heat to low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until turnips are cooked through. Check seasoning. Let cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree in a blender. Soup should have the consistency of cream of wheat. Return to pot and whisk in 1 T. creme fraiche. Stir in 2 T. toasted breadcrumbs and serve.

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