Last year’s resolution was to figure out what makes me happy and to incorporate those things into my life. Last year at this time, I did have a few things in place, such as being married to my best friend and we had recently come to live in a community that we both agreed was perfect for our personalities at this point in time in our life. Those things, I recognized as being okay. Where I felt I was lacking was finding a daily purpose that seemed to fit me, so I focused on that and by the end of last year, I had attained my goal and found a job that truly fits me.
The funny thing about pursuing happiness, is that the more you get things into place, the more things change. It is definitely a moving target and so as I had figured out by the end of last year, this year’s focus needs to be on my health. And so as I joined the millions of others, readying their sights on the cliche of a healthier year, I understand just as every resolution before, that it will be a work in progress. I will fall down, I will get tempted to take the easy way out and I will not always be happy or comfortable. That’s life, the learning process is full of growing pains and boy have I had those over the years.
The great thing about having a resolution, is having a yearly focus and I am always astonished at the end of the year, what the outcome is. So many things not accounted for, but adapted to, it really is amazing when you look back on it. In so many ways, the results aren’t what I expect but in a way, so much better, because it is truly what I wanted and what I am capable of. When you are blazing a trail, you can’t always foresee the obstacles or envision what the end product will look like and certainly not what it will feel like. So I enter this new year, as always, with hope and with a focus, knowing I have quite a journey ahead of me.
This week in my CSA box, I received quite a few leeks and potatoes, so I decided to make leek and potato soup. Nothing quite tastes like a leek, just such a beautiful flavor. If you have never had one, you should put it on your “to taste” list. This is an adaptation of a soup that I saw Jacques Pepin make on one of his programs. To make it a little healthier, I used olive oil, in place of butter during the saute. However, I kept the butter addition at the end to keep some the smooth richness that it lends. I switched out the cream that I normally add at the end for low-fat milk. The potatoes already lend the soup a silky, creamy quality and the low-fat milk just adds the subtle dairy flavor that my taste-buds are searching for. Enjoy everyone! I hope your new year is working out marvelously for you.
Leek and Potato Soup
2 TBSP olive oil
4 leeks, trimmed, washed and cut into 1/2 inch thickness
1 medium onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
2-4 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
A good dash of salt, ( I used a handful, my “guess-timation” is that it was about 1 TBSP)
3 TBSP butter
1/2 cup milk ( I used low fat to cut calories, but cream or half and half would be acceptable.)
Add olive oil to large stock pot and heat over medium heat for a few minutes. Add leeks, onion, celery and sauté 4-7 minutes or until vegetables begin to wilt. Add garlic and sauté another 2 minutes.
Add chicken stock, water, potatoes. salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, gently boil for 30-35 minutes. Vegetables will be very tender.
Use an immersion blender and process until soup has a creamy texture. Add butter and milk, process until well incorporated. Garnish with croutons and chervil, if desired.