Sometimes I meet or read about people that seem to have it ALL together. They have 2 dogs or a team of kids, plus a great job, or all of these plus they happen to run marathons!, yet they seem so calm and cool and dinner is always cooked and ready on the table, every night. Kudos to them…seriously I”m impressed!…but I’m definately not one of those people :)!
My life feels a bit more hectic :). Admittedly I DO have oatmeal, eggs and chopped apples with a drizzle of maple syrup for dinner some nights. Ok, eggs may be a staple in our household! Hey, no one said breakfast food had to be eaten in the AM! :). I tend to roll with the punches. But I also TRY to do my best to put a nice warm dinner on the table if and when I can, besides my oatmeal extravaganza 🙂 of course.
For me, cooking in batches is my way of “keeping it together”. I really have come to realize how amazing FREEZING food is! You keep it’s nutritional value for the most part, and you make your life WAY way easier. Yes it too takes time, but if you can carve out 3 hours ? to cook 15-20 meals? To me, it’s worth it!
Even better is when those meals rock! I’m a huge fan of blended soups and soup in general. For several reasons.
1- I live in Canada. It gets REALLY COLD and soup is HOT. Enough said.
2- There are no processed foods in the soups I make. They are wholesome and healthy. I feel good eating them.
3- Soup makes a great gift! Last Christmas I bought some mason jars and bows and made a lovely Sweet Potato
Apple, Curry and Ginger soup and gifted it to my girlfriends at our annual get together. Made with love :).
4- It freezes well. You can freeze in portion sizes and re heat or thaw in the fridge for when you want it ready
5- It goes great with nice bread. I’m not gluten free, I love my sourdough and I say that with a smile.
6- Most of my soups are vegetarian, all of them actually. The option to use vegetable broth over chicken is yours.
They are also dairy free. Your choice if you want to adjust that for extra creamy soup. I like them without.
7- Soup is great after cold winter training rides. A side of protein and fresh bread and you are recovering and
warming up in no time! Friends will love your post ride soup :).
Anyone can make soup. Generally I love recipes that are SIMPLE. Even the non cook can whip these up. REALLY I AM SERIOUS! I do recommend investing in a hand blender, it makes blending them WAY easier and less dishes not using a blender. That just makes the process more difficult in my opinion. Hand blenders are easy to come by and not expensive.
I’m currently obsessed with Potato Leek Soup! The ingredients are simple. Admittedly I have very limited LEEK COOKING EXPERIENCE! None needed, I did just fine. I have to say though you must to clean the leeks well! It’s a non option to use dirty leeks. Leeks often have soil in them so be SURE to open them up and rinse every one under water looking for any grit. If you don’t your soup will be ruined so take the time for this.
Ok. Now the rest is really quite simple!
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 leeks, white and light green parts only, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped into cubes
- 7 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth – avoid added colors and flavors in the ingredients
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig fresh thyme, (or you can use a tea ball with a few pinches of thyme in it to be removed after cooking)
- 1 teaspoon salt (option to add more when eating it)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (to taste)
Start by prepping everything. If you can’t find Yukon just buy yellow potatoes.
Peel potatoes (you can use a carrot peeler). Chop into cubes, set aside. Remember we are blending this.
Cut the dark green end off the leeks and the brown end leaving the whiter middle part of the leeks. Open and clean well running under water. Don’t skip the cleaning part. Slice leeks in half and then chop into chunks. Set aside.
Prep the bay leaves and thyme, if you have no sprigs then use a tea ball and put 1 tsp into the ball and hang on the side of the pot once you pour the broth in. You will remove the thyme so don’t put it right into the soup.
Chop the garlic. Set aside.
Ok! You are ready. Turn the stove on medium and heat the butter in a soup pot. Once melted add the garlic and leeks. Stir occasionally until the leeks are soft. About 10 minutes. Don’t brown them.
Add the potatoes, stock, bay leaves and thyme sprigs or thyme in the tea ball. Bring everything to a boil, then bring down to medium and let it cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork.
REMOVE THE BAY LEAVES AND THYME. Important! Don’t blend them in.
Let it cool for 10-15 minutes and then take the hand blender to it.
Congratulations chef! This one will be a winner! Option to garnish with fresh thyme and a swirl of cream, but I don’t use the cream personally. I find the potatoes make the soup creamy enough on their own.
TIP: Double the recipe. Yes more chopping BUT also MORE SOUP TO FREEZE and more relaxing nights with less cooking to do :).
NSAG – Your Nutrition Solutions Made Simple