Friday, March 30, 2012

Red & Sweet Potato Leek & Kale Soup

photos by scott haydon

Last night was a really good night. When I got home from work, Scott and I dove into - dinner making, wine (or beer) drinking, seed bomb making, How I Met Your Mother watching - domesticity.

Scott and I have been living together for a few months. We live in a small studio apartment where all of our space is shared and where we sleep on a twin bed in a closet. This has been remarkably easy. Something about 'us' just works. We are both dreamers and big planners. I have no doubt that we will reach our goals and, in a year or two, find ourselves looking back at this small place where we started and knowing that anything really is possible.

It can be hard to share your dreams with other people. What if they never happen? Some of the things I dream about go like this: own a home with a fenced back yard, a garden, chickens, a bbq, a naturally lit kitchen, and our own washer and dryer. Those are the easy dreams to share. At a certain point those dreams become plans and then they become your life. The best and worst thing about dreams/plans/life is that you are always moving forward - once your dream becomes a plan and then real life you discover new dreams and the process continues. I've been spending a lot of my recent life feeling especially grateful. I am sharing my life with a man who believes in my dreams and who dreams and plans with me. This is the biggest thing in the world.

We are dreaming. We are big planning. We are step taking.

A couple of the steps we've taken is to join a CSA and start (fingers crossed) a kitchen herb garden. We don't have a yard but we still have access to local fruits and vegetables. I picked up our second Terra Organics delivery on Monday. I feel like participating in a CSA is kind of like having Christmas twice a month, year round. This weeks box was full of yummy vegetables like kale, leeks, potatoes, turnips and carrots. We also received 4 pounds of oranges and each orange so far has been perfect, nice and juicy.

Another benefit to CSA is a new brand of creativity. Instead of wracking my brain and the internet for a recipe and then creating a shopping list and then going shopping - I get to look at my ingredients on hand and come up with something that doesn't have to involve a trip to the grocery store. I knew as soon as I saw leeks and potatoes that I wanted to make a soup. I didn't even need a recipe, everything just fell right into place.

 Here's my recipe:

1 shallot, diced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
olive oil
3 leeks, light green and white parts, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced
4 red fingerling potatoes, cut into approximately 1/2" chunks
1/2 of a sweet potato, cut into approximately 1/2" chunks
2 cups vegetable broth
ginger powder
3 branches of kale, cut from spiny part, shredded by hand

optional toppings:
sour cream, cheddar, bacon, jalapeno

Toss shallot, garlic and a drizzle of olive oil into a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir. When the garlic starts to brown and the shallots soften, lower temperature to low-medium and add leeks. Stir occasionally until the green part of the leeks begin to brighten, just a couple of minutes. Season with pepper and ginger powder, to taste.

Add potatoes and sweet potatoes. Increase heat to high, continue to stir while adding two cups of vegetable broth. Add water if necessary to just cover the potatoes. Bring to boil, place lid on pan and reduce to simmer.

Simmer for about 20 minutes. Check the softness of the potatoes to determine if more time is needed.

Remove a couple of cups of soup and puree in food processor. While pureeing, add kale to soup. Place pureed soup back into the pot and stir.

Serve with your choice of toppings.

We put sour cream, cheddar, freshly baked pieces of bacon and sliced jalapeno on our soup. We also topped our soup with one of our brand new gourmet salts, Delirium, courtesy of Libertine Salt.

Serve with crusty bread (and wine)!

1 comment:

  1. What a sweet post! I can relate to this... There's a lot of uncertainty during this awkward age we are in, almost ready to settle but not accomplished enough just yet to do so... But as with all things, keep looking forward and take one step at a time.