The Colonial Williamsburg Farm Market in Virginia offered perfect food complements to local sweet potatoes, leeks and garlic that I picked up in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The sweet potatoes I found in Hershey were of the fleshy white kind, the leeks long and pungent. I had been craving a creamy potato and leek soup, but yet hadn’t decided its direction. A trip to the Saturday market in Williamsburg proved inspirational.

Despite chillier days, the Williamsburg Farm Market had an abundance of root vegetables, dark greens, tomatoes and peppers of all varieties. I even found beautiful mushrooms.  But then I saw the fresh arugula and super sweet skinny bell peppers. I now had a soup idea for after trick-or-treating with the family.

This soup whips up easily, especially if you have homemade stock at the ready. A little hot pepper flakes should warm you up, too. Delightful.


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and sliced
  • 1 medium leek, halved and sliced
  • 2 medium-small yams, diced
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary, fresh or dried, crushed or slightly chopped
  • 1 medium-small sweet bell pepper, halved and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 1 cup arugula, lightly chopped and packed
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (or water if you don't have it)
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional red pepper flakes, or something else deliciously spicy


  1. In a medium stock pot, melt the butter at medium-low heat. As it foams, add the garlic and leeks and sauté for about two minutes.
  2. Add the potatoes and stir. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper onto the potatoes to help them along. Cook for a few minutes, stirring a bit, then add the rosemary. Stir again to incorporate, then add the peppers. Stir to combine and let them cook for about five minutes.
  3. Add the dill (and the hot pepper flakes if using) and stir. Add the stock. Bring the soup to a rolling boil, then add the cream. Stir and taste. If you have seasoned your vegetable stock, or the store-bought stock is seasoned well, then you will need to adjust accordingly.
  4. At the rolling boil, quickly add the cream, stir and turn down the heat. Cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, about seven to ten minutes.
  5. Add the arugula, turn off the heat, stir to combine and let it sit. Serve it with warm bread. Yum.

Liza Beth Rumery

Liza likes to do a lot of things. Currently, she like to make food, ride bikes, study languages and hang out with her family.

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