for a change, a recipe


I was pleased with the soup I made for dinner tonight. It reminded me of Milanese soups, with a number ingredients that mingled well yet maintained their individuality. It's not a minestrone becuase it doesn't have beans; you could add a half cup of rice or maybe spelt to make it a meal without bread.
  • 'bout a pound of spinach, raw, chopped, or I guess a frozen box is ok
  • As much pancetta or bacon as you care to add, up to 1/4 lb.
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large or 2 med potatoes (1.5lb?), half-inch dice (I used yukon gold so they stayed chunky with thin skins)
  • 4-8 cups stock (I made chicken stock, but fresh or packaged veggie or beef stock would be good; I will note that if you are making beef stock, shouldn't you use it for onion soup and top it with either Gruyère or Idiazabal and broil it? Yes, you should.)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Sea salt to taste


Chop the bacon and fry (starting in a cold pan) until most of the fat is rendered and the bacon is almost crispy but not quite. Remove the bacon, and pour off most but not all the fat. Add butter and sauté the leeks, potatoes, and garlic together until the leeks are soft. (You could use olive oil. I know we're trading one saturated fat for another, but they're different flavors and we're using a lot less butter than we had bacon fat.)

Add the stock and salt and simmer until the potatoes are soft. If you add rice or pasta to the soup, this is at least 20 minutes.

I broke one egg per person into the soup at this point, and cooked them slightly too long because I was setting the table.

Serve with bread unless there's rice or pasta in the soup.

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