Potage for a Princess

Photo: Hannah Whitaker

“When I worked with Gray Kunz at Lespinasse,” says Locanda Verde’s Carmellini, “there was an honest-to-goodness Swiss princess living at the St. Regis Hotel. Her name was Princess Doria, and every night she would phone down to the kitchen and tell us what she wanted for dinner.” Over the years, Carmellini and the staff developed dishes just for the princess: Salad Doria, Chicken Doria. “In the winter, she would call down and say, ‘Andrew, I would like some Soup Doria tonight, please.’ ” The recipe is exactly Princess Doria’s style, Carmellini says—refined but homey. “It’s really a potage—a French minestrone, made with winter vegetables.”

Soup DoriaServes 6 to 8.

2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups slab bacon, cut in 1/2-inch dice
2 cups sliced sweet onion
2 cups roughly chopped leeks, white part only
1/4 tsp. chile flakes
2 cups carrots, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 cups celery root, cut in large dice
2 cups small mixed potatoes (red, yellow, wax), washed and cut in 1/4-inch-thick rounds
2 cups Jerusalem artichokes (a.k.a. sunchokes), scrubbed (baby turnips can be substituted) and cut in 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth (2 32-oz. containers)
Herb packet (3 dried bay leaves and 10 branches fresh thyme, tied together with string)
6 cups kale, washed and torn

Hazelnut or pumpkin seed oil
2 tbs. freshly grated Parmesan

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook slowly until it starts to crisp a little and the fat renders, about 5 minutes.

Add the onion, leeks, and chile flakes, increase the temperature to medium-high, and stir occasionally. Cook until the onions and leeks have begun to soften, making sure the onions do not color—about 3 minutes.

Add the carrots, celery root, potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, salt, pepper, chicken broth, and the herb packet, and stir together; increase the heat to high and continue cooking at a low bubble until the vegetables soften, about 30 minutes.

When the vegetables are cooked but still have some structure, stir in the kale and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.

Drizzle each serving with pumpkin seed or hazelnut oil and sprinkle with cheese.

Potage for a Princess