Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Recipe for Leek, Garlic and Bacon Soup

Roasted Leek, Garlic and Bacon Soup

1 Tbsp olive oil
20g butter (I have no idea how much this is...)
2 rashers bacon, chopped
3 leeks, chopped and washed
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
2 zucchini, coarsely chopped
2 bay leaves
6 cups chicken stock (I used turkey broth)
1/3 cup cream
1/4 c. finely chopped parsley
2 rashers bacon, to serve (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 315*. Heat the oil and butter in a large roasting pan. Add the bacon and stir over medium heat for 1-2 min. Add the leek, garlic, celery, zucchini, and bay leaves and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes, without allowing to brown. 

2. Transfer the roasting pan to the oven and roast the vegetables and bacon for 40 min., turning a couple of times. Cover with foil is starting to brown. Transfer to a large pan, pour on the stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 30 min. Cool slightly, strain and return the liquid to the pan. Remove the bay leaves.

3. Put the vegetables and bacon in a food processor with a ladleful of the liquid and process until smooth, adding more liquid if necessary. Return the puree to the pan with the liquid and add some pepper, the cream and parsley. Reheat gently. 

4. To make the bacon garnish, trim of excess fat and fry until crispy. Drain off grease, then crumble and serve on top of soup.

Serves 4-6. Prep time: 30 min. Total cooking time: 1 hour 30 min. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A thought on.... SUMMER!

Yay, summer is upon us! I worked my last day last Wednesday, and the kids' last days of preschool is tomorrow. For awhile I had contemplated finding some kind of job to keep me busy this summer.... but naaaaah. Who wants to work when there are bike rides to take, beaches to visit, pools to jump in, and cookouts to be had?! :-D

For the duration of the summer (so until Labor Day) this blog will take a much lighter feel. I do most (all) of my writing in my down time at work, where its nice and quiet, and I have both my book and online journal library at my fingertips. Writing at home feels almost impossible! (Not to mention not very enjoyable.) But I do want to keep up with my blog so I've been thinking about what to write about that is both interesting and easy. I know... food!

I am so very blessed with an amazing, talented husband that cooks for us (almost) every night. This man gets up at 5:30 every morning to go to his first job of the day, continues to work 8-5, then comes home and whips up something amazing for his family. THEN he helps with cleanup and baths, and almost every night falls asleep while reading to Annabel. ♥ And I'll be completely honest... he doesn't even complain about it. I actually have tears in my eyes while I'm writing this because I know just how lucky I am. It is humbling to be loved so very much.

So anyway, the point of that is, while I'm home this summer I want to make HIM the lucky one. I want to have dinner at least started when he gets home, so he can just relax, or work in his garage, or play with the kids, or WHATEVER. It will be challenging me for me. I'm tired, a LOT (did I forget to mention I'm currently incubating baby #3??). I'm not confident in the kitchen and I get overwhelmed easily. Even just the thought of cooking dinner kind of makes me want to curl up in a ball under the table, lol! But darn it, with the help of Regina Spektor, the Pioneer Woman, and an awesome apron, I'm going to do it! I've gotten pretty good at making a meal plan the past several months, so this time I tailored it to fit my cooking abilities. Mostly the means soups, because soup is one of the things I enjoy making and feel like I'm halfway decent at. It will also mean a lot of vegetarian meals, because I don't cook meat (except bacon, lol). So, by writing about it on this blog, hopefully I will stay accountable and stay with it!

Tonight the plan is for a leek, garlic and bacon soup. It looks really yummy, so I'm excited to see how it turns out! If it is good, I'll take some pics and post the recipe! Stay tuned!