Potato Dill Soup
Chef Laura Cole
229 Parks Restaurant & Tavern
Denali National Park & Preserve, Alaska
Fresh dill and Swiss chard turn this soup a color more spring-like than fall, but the creamy texture and lively flavor provide warmth and comfort as the days turn chillier. It’s a favorite at 229 Parks Restaurant & Tavern at Denali National Park in Alaska, where long, cold winters are routine.
½ lb. fresh dill
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 cups leeks, cleaned and diced
3 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 to 2 cups whole milk or half-and-half
Red Swiss chard, cut into ribbons
Shaved radishes, for garnish
Fresh dill fronds, for garnish
Crème fraiche, for garnish
Scallion flower, for garnish
1. Bring large pot of water to a boil; Add dill, stems and all; blanch until tender, 10 to 15 seconds.
2. In blender, purée blanched dill with an equal volume of blanching water so it is completely emulsified. Mixture should be bright green. Pour into bowl and reserve. (No need to clean the blender before puréeing the potato mixture.)
3. In large saucepan, over medium-high heat, combine potatoes, leeks, broth, nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Cook until potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 minutes.
4. Transfer mixture to same blender and blend until creamy. Add milk or half-and- half until desired consistency is reached.
5. Return soup base to saucepan; stir in reserved dill purée. Heat over medium-low heat until hot.
7. To serve, split soup among four bowls and garnish with Swiss chard, radishes, dill fronds, a dollop of crème fraiche and a scallion flower.
Photo courtesy of Idaho Potato Commission