Caraway seeds, like cumin and fennel seeds, help us digest sulfurous vegetables like turnip and cabbage (which may explain why so many cabbage slaws include caraway). If you’re not keen on caraway, substitute cumin or fennel seeds. Again, use whatever greens you have on hand–and adjust the cooking time, if necessary. If you want to include the chard stems, sauté them with the leeks.
3 T unsalted butter or olive oil, or a combination
2 leeks, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced; or 1-1/2 c chopped onions or scallions
1 t salt, plus additional to taste
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 T caraway seeds
6 c broth or water
1-lb turnips, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1-lb red potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 bunch swiss chard, trimmed, stemmed, if you like, leaves roughly chopped
black pepper, to taste
grated Parmesan cheese, for serving, optional
1. In a large saucepan or soup pot, over medium heat, melt the butter or heat the oil. Add the leeks, season with a little salt, and saute until soft, about 3 minutes. (Onions will take longer.) Add the garlic and caraway seeds and saute for another minute.
2. Add the broth or water, turnips, and potatoes and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the 1 teaspoon of salt, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the size of the pieces).
3. Add the chard and simmer until wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes, or longer, per your preference. Season with salt and plenty of pepper and serve immediately, passing the grated Parmesan cheese at table, if using.