Friday, January 11, 2013

Happy New Year | Live Simply + Eat Well


Christmas ended and no sooner were we blasted with freezing weather bringing the first kiss of wintry snow.  I piled blankets on top of down comforters, added chapstick to backpacks and coat pockets, we went ice skating {a first for Charlie}, and made snowmen and now angels.  





The snow was a bit too short lived and has long melted away.  This afternoon Charlie and his friends stomped in massive mud puddles at the park without a jacket.  Crazy climate.  I hope 2013 has gotten off to a happy start for you!  I've read so many posts on new year's resolutions, theme words for the year, reflections on life, etc.  All very beautiful and all very inspiring.  And while I love the idea of ushering in a clean slate each January, I tend not to be big at making resolutions.  For the last year or so, I've felt a real and genuine tug to live more simply. To be more conscientious of how we spend our time, our money and our energy.  To be more present and attentive to one another, to be a bit less connected to the virtual world and all it's addictive time zapping attractions, and to make life special in simple ways for the people I love the most.  Sometimes I fall short {whining and ungrateful behavior can make steam come out my ears} but there are a couple things that I think I do relatively well , one is cooking and the other is reading to my boys.  Mealtime and bedtime are two of my favorite times of the day. When they are grown they'll probably say their mother was always in the kitchen {and her closet and car were a disaster} and she read me the best stories.  I know meal planning and cooking are on many resolution lists this year.


I do a weekly meal plan and this time of year I ALWAYS have soup worked somewhere into the week.  It's easy, makes enough for left overs, and it is so comforting.  I grew up eating potato leek soup.  When Jimmy and I were dating he'd often come over for dinner, the first time he ate my Mum's potato leek soup he was forever changed.  He LOVED it.  It was one of the first requests he ever had for soup when we got married and I've been making my Mum's recipe ever since.  He prefers his soup on the thick consistency side, but you can thin it with more broth if you prefer.  It will not alter the taste.  Hope you enjoy it just as much! Here's to a new year, to living simply and eating well!



Potato Leek Soup
4-5 leeks, chopped, white and light green parts only
8-9 potatoes {I use red}, peeled and quartered
1 small onion, diced
1 TBS butter
8 cups chicken stock
salt + pepper
cream and parsley to serve

Melt butter in stock pot or dutch oven. Add onion, leeks and potatoes and saute for 5 min.
Add chicken stock, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer with lid on for 40 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes.
Strain veggies and RESERVE LIQUID!
Put veggies and 2 cups soup back in stock pot and puree. Stir in reserved broth till desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladled into soup bowl, swirl with a little cream and top with parsley.
I toasted some baguette croutons in olive oil and salt/pepper to add to mine when I had it for left overs the next day.  So good.

25 comments:

  1. Thank you for the recipe. It may be dinner tomorrow.

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  2. I do the same, both the weekly meal plan and the soup once a week this time of year. The snow is still hanging on here in Boston so it always seems extra comforting to have a warm bowl of soup. This looks wonderful, I'll be trying!

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  3. Do you buy your chicken stock? What brand do you like best? Thanks! Annie

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    1. I buy, and I kind of think they all sort of taste the same. I do buy organic though, usually from Trader Joe's or Fresh Market.

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  4. I'm so jealous of your snow -- we haven't gotten any here in Virginia. Good for you for reading so much with your kids -- it will stick with them for a lifetime!

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  5. I just printed out the recipe and plan to make it very soon - or as soon as it cools off again here in Florida. We are having a very warm January after a lovely, cool autumn. My youngest daughter of our five children just left home this week to teach in Hungary. Your comments on your mothering style remind me very much of my own, especially the love of reading with your children. I am so grateful for all of the hours I spent doing that, and I am already starting with the next generation:)

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  6. Great photo Tessa ! Have a great weekend

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  7. Gorgeous photos, as usual! Hope y'all are doing well and had a wonderful Christmas! xx.

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  8. I made frech onion and sweet potato soup this week. Pefect for the cold weather. I have made kale and leek soup but imagine this would be much more hearty and I could probably substitute to make it vegan which I am trying out this year.

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    1. yes, for sure you could make it vegan!

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  9. You sound like such a sweet mommy - your boys are so lucky! One of my priorities for the year is doing a better job of reading with/to my son.

    Your photos of the snow are just gorgeous, and I think you just might have inspired me to make your soup today!

    Anne

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    1. thank you so much! hope you enjoy the soup!

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  10. I feel the same way about resolutions, and I like your goals. Sometimes it is easy to let life get in the way, no?

    Mmm, soup is always a good idea!

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    1. Yes, life has a way of throwing a wrench in the best of intentions. That's probably why I think of each day as a clean slate, not just January 1st. haha! :)

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  11. I love your blog and can relate on so many levels (disastrous car included ;) ) I would love to see a post on meal planning, I love to cook for my family but find many nights throwing together old standbys at the last minute after a long day at work...I need to get better with meal planning! Reading to the kiddos is mommy duty daddy just won't do for my two kids! I've established a shelf with mommy's favorites (blueberries for sal & all the other classics) and the remaining shelves are for disney cars and princess books ha! Hope this new year finds you well! Lindsay

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    1. oh dear, I'm not sure that I have the best technique. I've been thinking about your question this morning. Maybe I will try pull together a list of favorite "fast" standby dinner recipes. It really is just a matter of getting in the habit and writing it down, but trust me, we have plenty of nights where all there is time for is a box of pasta and a jar of sauce.

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  12. i jotted down the recipe and am ready for dinner! thank you!

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  13. I love your thoughts on resolutions Tessa. I'm in a similar boat regarding thoughts on simple times. I've been cooking more and trying to spend more quality time with the family. They are all sick now so I really don't have a choice. LOL!
    I've pinned many of your recipes and just made the panzanella last week (yep, in the dead of winter!). I have fond memories of my mother making leek soup as well.
    Happy New Year!
    xoxo,
    Kim

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  14. I fail miserably at meal planning..... 3 kids w/ very diff tastes( ie picky) and a hubby who travels a lot I am so challenged here! I would love your list of famkly friendly go tos. :)

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  15. Fresh fallen snow is absolutely magical! Love the way it looks on the garland. And your soup is one of my favorites! For the hundredth time, wish we lived closer! I'd love to be your taste tester! Wink! xoxo!

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  16. Beautiful pictures and such thoughtful words. Makes me wonder what my kids will say I did {well} as a mother to them as they grew up...

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  17. Just made this tonight and it was great! I steamed broccoli for the kids and threw a bunch of it into the soup, too, which was a tasty addition. Will definitely keep this in my rotation for the Winter :)

    Guess I'll try the oatmeal cookies tomorrow! - Eileen

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  18. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I made it for dinner last night (vegetarian style) and it was delish! Also, loved seeing your snow pics. In Austin, Texas we see about one snowflake every other year.

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  19. Tessa,
    Just catching up with all your posts. Loved all the last few. Your home looks so magical in the snow! Sounds like you have the best attitude about the new year and how we spend our time. I totally agree!

    I can't wait to try out your recipes for hot chocolate and oatmeal cookies with my boys. The soup looks amazing too. I love that you can print them out.

    Hope you have a lovely Valentine week with your darling family.

    Kim

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