Recipes at the top, sweet blog post below.
Potato & Leek Soup
Over medium heat, coat the bottom of the pan with the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the leeks, thyme, and salt & pepper. Once leeks soften, add the potatoes and broth. Cover and simmer until potatoes have softened (about 15 minutes).
Take the pot off the heat and blend until smooth using an immersion blender*. Return to a medium-low heat and slowly stir in the half and half. Season with additional salt and pepper (to taste), as needed.
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Psalms 118:24 ESV
Sometimes we just need to keep things simple. No bells. No whistles. Just simple and pure. It’s been exceedingly cold for spring, and this creamy, wonderful soup warmed me from the inside out.
The wonder ingredient of this recipe is leeks. I was surprised by how many people I know that didn’t know leeks existed. Native to the eastern Mediterranean, Middle East and Central Asia, leeks are a member of the allium family – the same as onions and garlic. It looks a bit like a giant green onion, with a white flesh and a leafy green top, but the flavor is sweeter and more mild.
The white flesh also tends to be sweeter, while the green portions are more bitter. I will tell you that leeks are also quite delectable when coated in olive oil, salt, pepper and italian herbs and then baked.
Leeks also have a plethora of health benefits. They’re a fantastic source of fiber and a natural source of prebiotics, which help to balance the stomach’s bacteria, help eliminate toxins and stimulate digestive fluids. These bad boys are full of vitamins B6, iron, magnesium, A, C, K, and calcium. They promote bone health, boost your immune system, improve good cholesterol levels, and help with high blood pressure. Leeks are rich in antioxidants and allicin (a beneficial sulfur compound), which help protect against heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer. Bonus: leeks are anti-inflammatory and high in folate acid, niacin and thiamin.
I do want to mention that you will want to thoroughly clean your leeks during prep, as they can get quite dirty. It’s best to cut off the bottom roots, then cut the leeks lengthwise down the center. This will help you easily rinse off each layer. You can then prep as needed for your meal or blanch them and freeze them for use later.
Speaking of storage, leeks can be stored in the refrigerator, stored in water for up to two days, canned and stored for up to three months or in a root cellar (~32°F), in soil, for up to four months. If you’re interested in growing your own leeks, check out this site.
I suppose my main point with posting such a simple recipe was that perhaps we don’t always need to have an abundance of spices or a million fancy ingredients for our food to be awesome. I believe that we should appreciate the simple things more often, even with our food.
I was sitting outside on a swing the other day, and I was just listening to the birds, the sound of the breeze through the trees, and feeling the first warm spring sun on my face.
Just sitting there in the quiet, watching my corgi play in the grass by the budding daffodils, was so relaxing and it gave me time to just slow down and think. I began to really appreciate and be grateful for the things that I have. I have a place to live, clothes on my back, a job, and food on my table. God has truly blessed me and my family. I think that these simple things are ones we take for granted constantly. Look at the world around you. What do you see? Do you see the problems? Or do you see the beauty that’s there? Do you see the blessings God has given you?
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Philippians 4:4-8 NIV
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