Universal Cureall

“And Tom brought him chicken soup until he wanted to kill him. The lore has not died out of the world, and you will still find people who believe that soup will cure any hurt or illness and is no bad thing to have for the funeral either.” —John Steinbeck, from East of Eden


Chilled chard and sorrel soup

1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 leeks (white part only), thinly sliced
1 medium to large Yukon gold potato, peeled and thinly sliced
1 bunch sorrel, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 bunch Swiss chard, trimmed and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
kosher salt
cracked black pepper
water
creme fraiche (for garnish)
lemon basil, parsley or lovage (for garnish)

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Saute onion and leek until the vegetables take on a bit of color, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes. Cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add greens, a pinch of salt and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Working in batches, pass soup through a food mill or puree in a blender. Return soup to pot and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes to let flavors blend. Check seasoning. Garnish with creme fraiche and chopped herbs, and serve at once.

This soup is wonderful chilled and served as either a first course or a light entree.

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