Estella’s Rosemary Leek and Potato Soup


3 Stalks of leek

3 Potatoes

5 Cups of water

1/2 Sprig crushed rosemary or 1 tsp. powdered rosemary

3 Tbsp. Olive oil

1 tsp. Salt

2 Crushed cloves of garlic

1 Diced onion

1/2 cup Heavy cream

Optional: 1-2 tbsp Flour

Cut the pale part of the leek stalk into quarter inch rounds.  Cut the potatoes into bite sized chunks.  Put the water onto boil in a 2 quart pot.  You may add the potatoes and leeks as soon as you have them chopped up.  Strip the rosemary from the stalk by going against the direction of the leaves.  Crush or chop up.  Add rosemary, olive oil, salt, garlic and onion to pot.  Boil till potatoes till tender.  Remove three cups of soup and chunks of vegetable into a blender or food processor and blend till smooth.  Reintroduce the blended soup to 2 quart pot and add cream.  Stir and reheat for only a couple of minutes if needed.  Don’t boil or you will curdle the cream.    If the soup is still too thin you may take 1-2 tbsp of flour and rehydrate it in a separate bowl with 3 tbsp of water.  Whisk well till no clumps.  Slowly add to soup while stirring.  Keep heat on low.  Wait a couple minutes for it to have a chance to thicken.  Taste and adjust for salt.  May be served hot or refrigerated and served cold.


Roasted Radishes and Marble Potatoes with Charred Onion Vinaigrette

Peter Rabbit got it right: A good radish is worth a risk.  Nathan Thurston, the executive chef at Stars in Charleston, South Carolina, prepares the humble root vegetable three ways: roasted, pureed and fresh.  He then combines all three treatments in an inspired, side dish.  Served with an innovative charred onion vinaigrette, the pairing rises above your garden variety salad.



1/4 medium sweet onion

1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or coarse smoked salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil



18 small radishes, divided

16 marble potatoes, halved (or 8 new potatoes, quartered)

2 Tablespoons canola oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 Tablespoons trout or whitefish roe (optional)


Radish Puree

2 sticks unsalted butter

1/2 pound radishes (preferably large radishes) peeled and finely chopped

2 Tablespoons whole milk

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Make the vinaigrette: Adjust the oven rack to the upper-middle position and preheat the broiler.  Place the onion quarter on a square of aluminum foil and set on a baking sheet.  Broil until the onion begins to char, about 15 minutes (check the onion often, as broiler intensities vary).  Once the onion is lightly charred, remove the baking sheet from the oven and wrap the onion in the aluminum foil.  Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position.
  2. Make the salad: Thinly slice 2 radishes into rounds and place them in a bowl of ice water.  Halve the remaining radishes and place them in a large bowl.  Add the potatoes, canola oil, salt and pepper.  Transfer the mixture to a rimmed baking sheet and add the foil wrapped onion.  Roast until the radishes and potatoes are golden and tender, about 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven.
  3. While the radishes and potatoes roast, make the radish puree:  In a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, melt the butter.  Add the radishes and enough water to just cover them.  Once the liquid comes to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and gently simmer until a fork easily slips into the radish, about 30 minutes.  Strain the mixture into a fine mesh sieve set over a medium bowl. Place the cooked radishes in a blender and puree until smooth, then transfer the puree to a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap to keep warm.  Rinse out the blender before finishing the vinaigrette.
  4. Finish the vinaigrette:  Unwrap the onion and add it to a blender along with the red wine vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper.  Blend on low speed while slowly adding the olive oil through the opening in the lid, increasing the speed as the vinaigrette becomes thin and fluid.  Blend until the mixture is completely smooth and emulsified.
  5. Remove the sliced radishes from the ice water and place on a kitchen towel to dry.  Divide the warm radish puree among 4 plates.  Top with the roasted radishes and potatoes and drizzle with the vinaigrette.  Top with the radish slices and a dollop of trout roe, if using.  Serve immediately.

Oven Fries with Crisp Sage Leaves

As beautiful to look at as they are great to eat, these golden slices of potato are scented and subtly flavored with crisp cooked sage.  They are an incredible snack or a perfect savory side to any meal, from chicken to filet mignon.  You can double this recipe and use two baking sheets.  For even browning rotate the baking sheets halfway through the first 40 minutes of baking.

Cooking Light JUNE 2004

Yield:  3 servings (Serving size: 4 potato slices)


2 small baking potatoes (about 1 pound)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

12 sage leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut each baking potato lengthwise into 6 equal slices.  Place potato slices in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt; toss well to coat potato slices.  Remove potato slices from bowl.  Reserve remaining olive oil and salt in bowl; set aside.  Arrange potato slices in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until the potato slices are golden brown on the bottom.  Remove potato slices from oven (leave oven at 400 degrees).

Add sage leaves to reserved olive oil and salt in bowl.  Gently rub sage leaves along bottom of bowl, coating both sides with olive oil and salt.  Working with one potato slice at a time, lift potato slice from baking sheet with a thin spatula.  Lay 1 sage leaf on baking sheet and cover with potato slice, browned side down.  Repeat with remaining potato slices and sage leaves.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Using a spatula, carefully turn potato slices over with leaves on top.  Bake at 400 degrees for an additional 10 minutes or until bottoms begin to brown.  Serve immediately.

Veggie Pancakes

Serves 2 – 3


2 cups shredded veggies (I like to use a mix including things like white potatoes, sweet potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash and/or carrots . . . whatever you have on hand)

2 eggs

1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Olive oil for cooking

Optional garnishes: Sour cream and/or applesauce


  1.  Combine the shredded veggies with the eggs, flour, and salt.  Mix thoroughly,
  2. Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  It is important that the heat is the right temperature because you want the pancakes to cook all the way through the middle by the time they are brown on the outside.
  3. Once the oil has heated up, add pancake size dollops of the veggie mixture into the pan.  Cook for several minutes until the bottom starts to brown.  Then flip and repeat.
  4. Transfer cooked pancakes to a plate lined with paper towels.  Serve warm with sour cream and/or applesauce.