Potato Leek Soup

garnish with chives


I’m on a leek kick. I hope you’ve seen my post on cleaning a leek. If not, take a peek now because we need to make potato leek soup.

http://www.nanaclareskitchen.com/2012/04/22/how-to-handle-a-leek/

Recently I told you about a brussel sprouts and leek dish that I made which was very tasty. Next I decided to create a potato and leek soup, with a little turkey ham. Delicious.

cook half the veggies and put into blender


Note: If you have fussy eaters (as I did when my kids were little) put in all the offending vegetables first. (You know, celery, leeks, peppers.) Add a few potato chunks. Cover them with a bit of water and cook until tender. Then blend until smooth and pour that back into your soup pot. This will thicken the soup and add veggies without anyone knowing.

Honestly – this tip is for anyone married to a fussy eater who is trying to help him/her eat more vegetables. You know who you are!

blend" offending" veggies

add uncooked veggies to stock

add rest of ingredients

Ingredients
1 leek – cleaned and chopped
4-5 medium potatoes – I use Yukon gold
4 stalks celery, cleaned and chopped
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 TBS light Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS chicken soup base (or three cups chicken stock)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pound cooked turkey ham, cut into cubes (or regular ham)
1/4 cup Kefir milk, unsweetened (or use yogurt, sour cream or cream cheese)
1 cup carrots and/or other frozen veggies
3 green onions, chopped

Directions
Put half of all the vegetables in a large pot and cover with a few cups of water.
Cook until tender – 5-10 minutes.
Blend these together and pour back into the soup pot.
Add the broth and the uncooked vegetables and cook about 10 minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the chives.
Cook on low another 20 minutes until flavors blend. Don’t rush this soup. It will be even better the next day.
Garnish with a few tablespoons of chives on top of soup.

This soup has great body without needing to be thickened with flour. If you need a dairy free option, leave out the Kefir or yogurt and add more herbs, if needed for flavor.

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Simple Slim Skillet Meal

a simple meal


Love to grab a few pantry (not “panty”- thanks Holley for seeing the hilarious typo) items along with an onion and pepper? Me too. Add in turkey ham, which is low in fat and high in flavor and so fast because it arrives already cooked. This is a quick idea for a busy evening. Very healthy, tasty and goes together in minutes.

add ham to potatoes and veggies


Ingredients
2 TBS olive oil
2 medium gold potatoes, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1/2 pepper – green or red
1 tsp Italian seasonings
1 can diced tomatoes – I used the ones with garlic
1 cup diced turkey ham
1 cup carrot chunks – I used the small ones and cut into chunks

add diced tomatoes


chop baby carrots

delicious


Directions
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the potatoes.
Let them cook a few minutes, turning them to brown both sides.
Add onion and pepper and let them wilt.
Add tomatoes, turkey ham and carrots. And Italian seasonings. It will be salty enough with the turkey ham.
Cover and let finish cooking, about ten minutes.

This meal will be ready in 30 minutes, start to finish. Serve with some fruit and you have everything you need. Potates, onions and peppers in olive oil, with tomatoes,to form a great bed of flavor. The turkey ham adds lean protein. You could also use a turkey sausage instead of the ham.

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Ham and Potato “Stone” Soup

ham and potato soup

Here’s a wonderful love story for Valentine’s Day. After weeks of chocolate recipes, I decided to offer up my favorite soup for this important day. The origin of Stone Soup is all about love – wrapped in potatoes, carrots, and onions. Let me explain.

"onions will give the stones flavor"


"I have a few potatoes we could add"


Ken and I attended a Stone Soup Supper Sunday evening. (Say that with a lisp!) Stone Soup suppers are a great potluck tradition in our church and various members host them each winter. Everyone brings part of the meal, which always includes appetizers, two soups, hearty breads and a yummy dessert. (See yesterday’s blog about the Cheesecake Brownies.)

"carrots would be a nice addition of color"


Before we eat, we gather together and reenact the story which tells about three hungry Russian soldiers who enter a village and start searching for food. No one will give them anything, so they get a pot and some water and start searching for “just the right stones.” They build a fire in the center of the town and start making their “soup.”

"ham will flavor all those potatoes"


The soldiers invite townspeople to taste the soup who then suggest additions of salt, carrots, onions, potatoes, meat, etc. As each townsperson runs back to his/her home to grab an item to add to the soup, the meal becomes not only more flavorful, but also more congenial as they all share the soup in the end. Each townsperson starts with an attitude that they have “only enough” for themselves, but when they pool their resources, all are fed a delicious meal with more variety than any one of them would have had alone.

my tip: blend some of the potatoes and onions


Sounds like a great story of “love.” Perfect for St. Valentine’s Day.

I’ve been making my own variety of stone soup for years, only I call it Ham and Potato Soup. (And I leave out the stones.) I change the vegetables depending on what I have on hand, but the basic recipe is below.

First a tip – If you like a thicker soup broth, but don’t want to add flour or a canned cream soup, you’ll love this idea. Boil the potatoes, celery and onions until they’re almost cooked. Scoop about half of the vegetables into a blender. Add about ½ cup of milk (or more) and blend for 30 seconds or until the vegetables are now broth. Pour into the soup. You can use this tip for many different soups. Let’s start at the beginning.

add green or red peppers if you like


Ingredients for Ham and Potato Soup
4-5 medium sized potatoes
1 pound carrots, cut into bite sized pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 stalks celery, chopped
½ green pepper, chopped – red pepper is very pretty as well
1 ½ – 2 pounds cubed ham (or turkey ham)
1/2 cup milk (or Silk or Almond Milk)
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

lets play ball


Optional – add left over vegetables you may have – peas, corn, red pepper, green beans.

Directions
• Fill a large kettle about half full of water
• Add the potatoes, celery, onions and garlic and cook until almost done.
• Scoop half the vegetables into a blender.
• Add ½ cup, or more, of milk and blend until vegetables are pureed. Pour back into the kettle of soup.
• Add the rest of the vegetables, the bullion, salt and herbs.
• Simmer on low to let the flavors blend.

• Serve with hearty whole grain bread.

Ham and Potato soup is very versatile. It will fill you up and is so good for you. It’s also gluten free and low in fat. And that’s a great recipe for your heart.

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