For the last several years I've had a garden plot in the community garden at Druid Hill Park in Baltimore, a place filled with thriving-looking garden plots full of big, strapping plants laid out in neat rows, the plots neatly bisected with little paths. There are tomato vines laden with tomatoes, leafy plants of chard and collards, big sprawling zucchini plants, and bean vines of startling vigour. There is not a weed to be seen in these garden plots.
My garden plot? Not so much. My rows aren't particularly straight, I have an over-large patch of mint which looks perpetually messy, and I have weeds. The only thing I can say in my defense about the weeds is that weeding becomes much more complicated when the purslane sprouts and all of a sudden I am weeding around the weeds.
Rick Bayless's Purslane, Tomato, and Tomatillo Soup
1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large white onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (or more) jalapeno peppers, deseeded and minced
2 ripe tomatoes, diced
10 oz (about 5 medium) tomatillos, husked, washed, roughly diced
3 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
2 large boiling potatoes (I used Yukon gold), peeled and diced
1 quart chicken stock
2 cups packed fresh purslane, chopped into 1-inch pieces (I use leaves, plus the thin stems at the top of the plants_
Cilantro for garnish
1. In a 3-quart stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and jalapeno and cook until they're softened. Add the tomatoes and tomatillos and cook until they are almost dry.
2. Add chicken stock, potatoes, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves. Simmer until the potato is tender.