Easy Potato Leek Soup
Often on the weekends, we will have large filling lunches. When we do, I usually make my easy potato leek soup for dinner. Soup is perfect for a light dinner. It is a filling and satisfying meal. I swear it helps with digestion after the larger lunch meal. Plus, it comforts the soup as you sip warm, savory goodness.
The soup has become a family favorite years ago. I made this soup when our family was in Vaals, The Netherlands at a holiday cottage. My Dutch mother-in-law was a super cook. And no one could cook in her kitchen at home or when we stayed in holiday cottages. One day, it had been a long day and she wasn’t feeling well, so I made this soup for her. She liked it. I knew it was a keeper recipe and I had broken through as a daughter-in-law who could cook.
This soup is simple and quick. Perfect for anything really you are in need of comfort food. Just leeks, potatoes, broth, and milk with some seasoning. That’s it. So simple yet so delicious. That’s the beauty of it. Potato leek soup is a great starter soup for beginner cooks. My secret ingredient is Knorr’s Aromat Seasoning. Mine is from the Netherlands; however, you can now order it online. I sprinkle that on the leeks when they are cooking. It gives it a lovely flavor. You can add smoked sausage if you want some meat; my guys insist on having smoked sausage in this soup.
Easy Potato Leek Soup Recipe
- 2-3 tablespoons butter
- 2-3 leeks chopped thinly
- 5-10 shakes Aromat
- 2 large potatoes cubed
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup milk
- dash white pepperFor meat-eaters
- package smoked turkey sausage
- Melt butter in a Dutch Oven over medium heat being careful not to brown the butter.
- Add chopped leeks cooking until soft sprinkling with Aromat seasoning then add the cubed potatoes.
- Pour in vegetable broth bringing to a soft boil.
- If using sausage then here is where you add it and bring it back to a soft boil.
- Simmer with lid on until potatoes are soft usually about 25 minutes.
- Remove sausage to a plate and slice it.
- Use hand blender to blend the soup.
- Pour milk and cook until warm.
- Add sausage and warm for 5 minutes or so.
- Serve with toasted bread.
Slow Cooker Sweet Spicy Pork Goodness
Making dinner easy is priority during busy times. And that’s where slow cooker sweet spicy pork eases your stress. Weekends tend to get busy around the holidays here no matter how much we try to keep things simple. Same for you?
The slow cooker is one way I ease that stress. During the holidays, it is really easy to fall into eating junky foods that, while are tasty, they aren’t healthy. The junky foods are deceiving and feel satisfying, but soon they start slow you down. Slow cookers help you stay on course instead of picking up stuff on the way home when you are starving. Get the slow cooker items ready the night before in dump in the morning or do it all in the morning in less than 10 minutes.
I like to use organic meats when I eat meat and that includes pork. Normally, I use pork shoulder, but they looked a bit fatty for my taste. I went with the tenderloin instead and it worked nicely. The meat was tender and tasty.
At this point, Asian spices for the most part have gone mainstream. I can get Chinese Five Spice Powder and Garlic-Chili Sauce at my local grocery store. That said, I usually pick them up at the Asian grocery store when I make a trek there. Bok choy is becoming more readily available, too.
This recipe is good enough for company. One more reason to slow cooker sweet spicy pork. It is tasty, simple, and fancy.
Slow Cooker Sweet Spicy Pork Recipes
- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar or brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 1/2pounds pork shoulder or tenderloin, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 medium head bok choy thinly sliced
- Cut pork into small pieces and chop boy choy.
- In slow cooker, mix the soy sauce, sugar, chili-garlic sauce, ginger, five-spice powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add the pork tossing to coat.
- Cook until the pork is tender, on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.
- About 30-minutes before serving, cook the rice and add bok choy.
- Serve with the rice.
Vegetable Pad Thai
Vegetable Pad Thai was on the menu tonight. My guys wanted Thai, but they did not want a soupy curry. Pad Thai was the natural alternative. It is a sweet, spicy, and sour noodle dish beloved by everyone who tries it.
What is great about Pad Thai is it is so versatile. Most vegetables that you have in your vegetable bin in the fridge will work, so it is an ideal dish when your bin is full and things need to be cooked. You can use squash, zucchini, bean sprouts, green onions, broccoli, savory cabbage, etc. to stir-fry. It is important to make sure your veg are sliced thinly and/or very small.
The sauce is important. It is sweet, sour, and spicy. A wonderful combination of flavors that will bring your mouth alive. Pad Thai sauce is fish sauce, soy sauce, chili sauce, coconut sugar, vinegar, and broth.
Once all the ingredients are combined, it can be garnished with cilantro and Sriracha sauce. Yum. A simple meal in 30-minutes or less.
* You can add chicken or shrimp to the dish. Marinate with some of the Pad Thai sauce. Stir-fry them.
Vegetable Pad Thai Recipe
- 8 ounces Pad Thai noodles
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 red pepper thinly sliced
- 1 yellow onion thinly sliced
- 1 can baby corn raised and drained
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 egg, beaten
- ½ cup peanuts, chopped
- 1 lime juiced
- ½ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- Sriracha sauce
Pad Thai Sauce
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sambal oelek or chili paste
- Cook Pad Thai noodles according to package directions.
- As the noodles are softening, heat oil over medium to medium-high in a wok or skillet.
- Cook the garlic until fragrant.
- Add the vegetables cooking until softened then remove from wok.
- While vegetables are cooking prepare the Pad Thai sauce whisking it together.
- Add a little bit of olive oil then cook the drained noodle for about a minute.
- Push the noodle over to one side.
- Add the egg letting it cook for about 30 seconds then fold the egg into the noodles.
- Add the vegetables back to the pan mixing through.
- Stir in peanuts and cilantro.
Fabulous French Lentil Sausage Stew with Rosemary
Seriously. This recipe for French Lentil Sausage Stew is fabulous. And addictive. When I make it, I cannot get enough of it and can sit in front of the pan with a big spoon just eating it. The worst thing I can do is make this dish early in the day; because I ended up “sampling” it throughout the day. Glad it feeds four to six people or there would be nothing left for dinner!
Simple ingredients are the best I find. Everything can be found at your local grocery store. I usually do not buy anything special for the dish outside of French lentils where I purchase them when on sale stocking up and hot Italian sausage. The rosemary is from my herb garden. Everything else is in my pantry. This is when a well-stocked pantry helps in meal preparation, but that is for another post.
One of the keys to this dish is chopping the veg and herb finely. It helps release favor and cooking time. I cook the lentils in one pot as I am cooking the veg and sausage in another one. Helps with cooking time. From start to finish, this could be a 45 to one hour meal. It is a satisfying dinner or lunch for cold weather. As my Mom would say, “It warms the cockles of your heart.”
French Lentil Sausage Stew Recipe
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups fat-free, less-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 cups petite green lentils
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion chopped finely
- 1/2 cup baby carrots chopped finely
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary chopped finely
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 14oz package hot Italian sausage
- 1 8oz can tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon hot paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
- Combine 4 cups water, broth, and lentils in a large saucepan over medium heat bringing to a simmer.
- Cook until almost tender.
- While the lentils are cooking, heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add onion, carrot, rosemary, and garlic to pan sautéing until tender.
- Add sausage cooking until no more red appears and crumbled.
- Add tomato paste and remaining ingredients cooking until heated.
- Add lentils to sausage mixture bringing to a boil.
- Cook until lentils are tender.
One-Pan Oven Roast Chicken and Vegetables
Roast chicken and vegetables. The ultimate Sunday Dinner for many in the United States. It is comfort food. Those two words bring to mind of home, families, and Sunday. All good feelings.
Roast chicken is a simple dish to prepare. There are many variations on seasonings, but just salt and pepper works just fine. This recipe is salt and pepper inside and out as well as fresh parsley and thyme in the cavity for extra flavor. You can use whatever seasoning combination takes your taste buds. I use white wine in this recipe; you can use broth instead if you don’t have wine handy.
I like to purchase all-natural organic chickens. There are a couple reasons I do that, but the main reason is size. The organic chickens tend to be smaller. What a chicken should look like in my mind not some Frankenstein chicken that is more the size of a turkey. You can still get a lot out of this little chicken. I usually get enough meat for a lunch’s worth of chicken salad and the carcass I can make broth from it in the slow cooker.
While this is the oven version of roast chicken, you can prepare a nice meal in the slow cooker. I love this recipe when things are crazy on the weekend. Just chop veg, rub the chicken, and put in slow cooker. In about 8 hours or so, fall off the bone chicken with tasty vegetables.
Roast chicken is a meal that demands everyone sit around the dinner table eating as a family. Gather your family and enjoy a meal together.
One-Pan Oven Roast Chicken and Vegetables Recipe
- 1 whole natural chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), rinsed and patted dry
- Kosher salt and ground pepper
- Bunch thyme
- Bunch parsley
- 2 – 4 leeks with only white and light-green parts only) quartered
- 1 – 2 cups of baby carrots halved
- 1 pound small red potatoes, any large ones quartered
- Olive oil
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Rise and pat dry whole chicken
- Season generously chicken with salt and pepper inside and out.
- Stuff thyme and parsley in cavity.
- Cut vegetables then toss them in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Place chicken in pan surrounding it with vegetables keeping potatoes at the far edges.
- Add white wine.
- Place in oven and roast for one hour or until the chicken is golden brown and juices run clear when pierced between breast and leg (an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of a thigh, avoiding bone, should read 165 degrees).