Leek and Potato Soup

Leek Potato SoupSince winter is having troubles ending and spring starting, a leek and potato soup was needed this week. Healthy, filling and delicious but the best part about this soup to me is using up the veggies in my fridge. I had carrots, onions, and celery from my Osso Buco recipe I did last weekend and I really needed to use them up! Soups are always great to help clear the fridge, and can be so flexible with the ingredients you use. Traditionally you wouldn’t put carrots in a leek and potato soup, but they sure didn’t hurt, and just added more nutrients.

I was also nontraditional by leaving the skins on the baby potatoes. I  lacked patience to peel baby potatoes (because who wants to do that?) and knowing that most the nutrient in potatoes are from their skin why not leave them on?! As long as everything simmers long enough to become soft, it all will be puréed by the blender anyway!

I would usually always use a broth for soup, if you have vegetable stock, chicken, or those broth cubes- but in my case I found out last minute I didn’t have any, so I just used water. I was a little worried it would lack flavour, so I put lots of spices and also allowed it to simmer for quiet a while to make a vegetable stock while making soup! Everything turned out, I found this soup to be full of flavour, healthy and delicious, it also had a perfectly thick texture.

Enjoy this easy leek and potato soup and feel free to substitute any ingredients you may have at home to use up, or if you don’t have any! You can’t go wrong with this soup, but you might want to make sure you have  leek and potatoes 🙂

Makes about 6-8 servings

Ingredients

2 leeks

1 pound baby potatoes

3 cloves of garlic

2-3 stocks of celery

2-3 carrots

6 cups of broth (or in my case I just used water!)

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp oregano

1 tsp rosemary

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp sugar

salt and pepper to taste

Method

Chop all your veggies, dice the garlic keeping in mind it will all be puréed anyway!

Heat a large pot to medium high and add the olive oil, garlic, leeks, celery, and carrots. Cook till soft and fragrant about 5-10 minutes, then add the spices and potatoes. Leek Potato Soup
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Cook another 10 minutes and add the water or broth. Simmer for as long as you can, about 30 minutes, especially if you are like me and just added water. Once the potatoes are soft and everything is flavorful, puree till smooth.

Leek Potato

Puree

Top with a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt and fresh basil.

 

Leek Potato Soup

The Healing Hot and Sour Soup

IMG_1075Chicken noodle soup is a nice feeling when you are under the weather, but it’s the hot and sour soup that will truly boost your immune system and set you back on track. This soup has all the healing properties you need to fight infections, help digestion, boost your metabolism, and warm up to on a cold winters day.

I remember when I had my wisdom teeth taken out years ago, there was really nothing I could eat that would satisfy me. I quickly got hooked on hot and sour soup! Not only does it have that potent tang that makes you feel all fresh inside, it’s packed with nutrients, and the silky texture made it easy to swallow – also great for strep throat!

Besides being a great soup for when you are sick, I made this soup as part of my little detox from Christmas. Naturally this soup is full of anti-inflammatory properties to reduce the bloated Christmas stomach! And finally did I mention how deliciously addictive this soup is? I may have had 3 bowls of it last night….

My version of hot and sour soup  isn’t the most traditional, I don’t go to the bother of soaking Chinese mushrooms, I just use regular white ones and I tend to use ingredients I usually have around my kitchen, like Sriracha instead of a chili paste. I like to do a “Hot Pot” method to make things real simple, just bring your broth to a boil, and basically throw everything in (with a slight order). I also encourage using any veggie you already have that I don’t mention, like cabbage, bok choy, or cherry tomatoes.

Here we go!

Ingredients

5 cups chicken broth

6 large mushrooms sliced

2 cups tofu cut in 1 inch cubes

4 stocks green onions diced

3 garlic gloves chopped

2 tbsp ginger diced in strips

Bunch of chopped cilantro

1 tsp sugar

3 tbsp cornstarch

1 tsp chili powder

salt and white pepper

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 lime

2 tbsp Sriracha

2 eggs beaten

Method

My broth came from a whole chicken I cooked the night before. Just threw the carcass in about 6 cups of water, added salt and pepper and let it simmer for 3 hours.

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Once it’s done, remove the bone and bring the broth to a boil.

Chop and prepare all your ingredients.

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Start by adding the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, Sriracha, vinegars and lime juice to get the flavours cooking, about 10-15 minutes.

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Mix 3 tbsp of cornstach with 1/4 cup of water, and slowly pour in while stirring to thicken the soup. Then add the mushrooms, tofu, and the beaten egg while stirring in one direction.

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Throw in the green onions and any other veggies you might like in it. Add salt, pepper and chili powder, and have a taste to see if it needs a little more soy or vinegar. Let the soup simmer about an hour before serving for best results.

Top with cilantro and feel the healing powers of this soup!

 

Classic Homemade Tomato Soup

tomatosoup

An all time favourite classic (even the tomato haters love) homemade tomato soup. This recipe was inspired by my dear grandma I refer to as Nan. She whipped up this simply delicious soup by memory in no time at all, the results – amazing. After this soup I promise you’ll never go back to canned tomato soup again.

Have I mentioned I am not really one to measure, or follow a recipe – it’s all in my head, so here it goes!
Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil

4 garlic cloves minced

1 onion diced

2 stalks of celery diced

2 large carrots diced

4 cups of chicken/veggie stock

2 cans plum tomatoes/and or add fresh whole tomatoes (include green stems)

2 cups tomato juice/Clamato/V8/ or even a can of tomato soup

small bunch of fresh basil (this is what makes it!)

Salt and pepper (default)

1 tbsp sugar

1 cup of cream (optional)

Method

Put a large pot on medium heat with olive oil. We start with what Nan called the “holy trinity” these are the foundation to almost any soup or tomato sauce: garlic, onions, celery, carrots. Cook about 10 minutes till carrots have slightly softened.

Add all the tomatoes, canned/fresh, inculding the tomato juice. Now you will add the stock – my preference is always homemade from your whole chicken bones you had the night before 😉 of course the cartons or cubes will do. Throw half of your basil leaves in, alot of pepper, some salt and simmer at least fifteen minutes.

Now you will blend the soup. If you are lucky enough to have a hand held blender great, otherwise for many years I did this in sections in a normal blender separating into another bowl.

Add some more fresh basil and your cream, adjust salt and pepper to taste, et voila!

Serve with a dollop of either plain greek yogurt or sour cream, topped with more fresh basil and enjoy.