Friday, March 2, 2012

Potato and Leek Soup

March has arrived. It came in like a lion so it better be going out like a lamb! We actually had our first snow storm of the year and the kids got a day off of school. I can't complain about it though since it now brings or total snow accumulation up to about 10 inches for the whole winter I think! WOW! Have I said how much I LOVE THAT! Snow is not my thing. Which does beg the question, "Why do you live in Minnesota?" Anyhow snowstorms call for homemade soup, don't they? Plus this might be the last weekend for making it because SPRING is coming and all this snow is movin' on out!

Sometimes I look in the fridge and find something I need to use up asap or something like that commercial for the Food Saver will happen, "I'd like 5 pounds of meat but just wrap up half of it because I am going to throw the other half away!" Produce is expensive and we buy a heck of a lot of it. It hurts to throw it away. This time it was cabbage but I didn't just want cabbage soup. Light bulb! Potatoes will work with cabbage I think.
Chop up about 4-5 small red potatoes and one leek. Place in a pan with some olive oil.

Cook them until they are starting to brown a little and the leeks are golden.

While those are cooking chop up in the food processor this soup base. This goes into every soup I make. You need 2-3 celery stalks, 3 carrots, a couple garlic cloves, and one small onion. You also need couple tablespoons of butter or butter alternative. I used Earth Balance. Sweat the vegetables for about 5 minutes.
I wanted to up the protein content of this soup since it would have no meat so I added a can of white beans to the potato mixture and heated them up a bit.

Toss gently so you do not break the beans apart. Then add this mixture to your sweated vegetable mixture.

You can either add this entire carton of chicken broth or do half water and half chicken broth. If you choose the whole carton you will get more flavorful soup but it might be necessary to add a little bit of water as well to make the proper broth to vegetable ratio.

Now add some chopped up cabbage. Even though we didn't taste it much in the soup it added nutrition, another vegetable, and I didn't have to throw it away!

I also added some chopped fresh oregano, and some pepper. You can use dried oregano also.  And of course...

A couple heaping tablespoons of chicken base. I never make soup without this either. Let that simmer on the stove for a good 30 minutes for all the flavors to blend.

Serve up a deliciously warm meal! I wish I had added some kale to the soup as well. It doesn't look like enough green food for me in this picture.

We did eat it with a side salad and homemade oatmeal bread however!

And here is our lovely snowman that my children were so excited to help make and then barely did so! Evan did roll me the middle ball and they did come running when it was time to put the fun stuff from our snowman kit on him.
I like him.

Note: I would suggest you buy organic potatoes for this soup since you will be leaving the peel on. Potatoes are on the dirty dozen list of foods grown with lots of pesticides. I suppose I should add that list to a post sometime soon!

Potato and Leek Soup with Beans and Cabbage

3 carrots finely diced
3 stalks of celery finely diced
1 small onion finely diced
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoon butter/butter alternative
4-5 small red potatoes washed and chopped
1 leek thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or 1 tbsp. dried
one can white beans, drained
half small cabbage chopped
1 32 oz. carton chicken broth (or use 16 oz. broth and 16oz. water)
2 tablespoon chicken base
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

Dice carrots, celery, and onion in a food processor one at a time and add to soup pot with butter and garlic. Sweat the vegetables for approximately 5 minutes. Then add chicken broth and water and chicken base and turn on low. In a pan with some olive oil brown potatoes and leeks until golden. Add white beans and cook just long enough to warm the beans. Add potato mixture to soup pot. Add cabbage and oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 30 minutes to bring flavors together.

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