Monday, January 27, 2014

January FotM Recipe: Julia Child's Potage Parmentier (Potato Leek Soup)

I started with this recipe.

It's such a simple and basic recipe.  I made a few minor changes simply based on ingredients that I already had on hand.

Potage Parmentier (Potato Leek Soup) from

  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed oil  (I used avocado oil)
  • 4-5 medium russet potatoes (1 pound), peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 large leeks (1 pound), cleaned, and thinly sliced
  • 6 cups vegetable stock (or light chicken stock)  (I used turkey stock that I made around Thanksgiving)
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup crème fraiche  (I used 0% fat plain Greek yogurt, because we had it)
  • 1/3 cup minced parsley or chives

  1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot or dutch oven (six quarts or larger), over medium heat. Add the leek and potato. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have begun to soften and brown slightly, about 8-12 minutes (this time will vary greatly depending on the surface area of the bottom of your pot).
  2. Add the stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Blend until smooth either using an immersion blender, or by carefully transferring to a blender in batches.
  4. Add the cream, and season to taste with salt (I start with 1 teaspoon and go from there, tasting frequently) and lemon juice
  5. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a dollop of crème fraiche (or yogurt), and a healthy sprinkling of minced herbs.
So, what's the verdict from my three kids and picky husband?  Well I loved it, and my girls loved it.  My husband wrinkled his nose, then ate it and scraped the bowl clean...  and, well, my son refused to taste it (but that's just how five-year-old boys are sometimes).

I say, why not try it out?  Chances are you'll fall in love.

Have you ever made this soup?
What's your favorite soup recipe?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

January FotM: [Healthy] Soups and Stews

Happy New Year!  ….a little late, we know.

We’re trying our best to start the new year off right, but with all of the snow we’ve had in the Chicagoland area, we still want our comfort foods!  For us that means lots of soups and stews, which can sometimes get a little fat-filled and calorie dense.  So, this month, we’re talking about healthier versions of these classic comfort foods.

check out our recipe for


Soups, stews and stocks should always be cooled before refrigerating or freezing to prevent the growth of harmful bacterias.  You can do this by placing the pot of soup directly into a sink full of ice water (being careful not to dump the soup, or water it down, of course!), or by allowing it to cool in the storage container on the counter.  After cooling, soup can be kept refrigerated for about 3 days or frozen up to 6 months (any longer and you risk freezer burn).  Be sure to leave about ½” of headspace when freezing to allow for expansion.

Of course, stocks and many soups can be pressure canned as well.  When canning, be sure to use only recipes written for canning and to follow them exactly, otherwise you run the risk of botulism and other foodborne illnesses.


There are so many wonderful recipes available in a variety of places.  Here are a few of our favorite places to dig around for good recipes:

Make it HEALTHY!

Most often, recipes for soups and stews are very forgiving and easy to tweak.  You can easily make small changes to recipes to cut the fat and calories without sacrificing the flavor by:
  • reducing the oil/butter (sometimes you can get away with only using half!) or replacing half (or all, if you can get away with it) of the butter/oil for healthier oils such as coconut oil or avocado oil
  • reduce heavy cream when called for or substitute with a lower fat milk, or even better, almond milk…  in some cases, when making a “cream of” vegetable soup, you can even get away with omitting any dairy at all as long as you give it a good blend (as our favorite broccoli soup demonstrates)

What’s your favorite soup recipe?