Potato Leek Soup with Bacon (Non Dairy)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

So technically, it's end of October so soup weather should be upon us. But it has been warm but nevertheless I have started out with my fall soup repertoire. Here we have Potato Leek Soup with Bacon. Because you know as well as I do that bacon makes everything better.

This was a huge hit with my older daughter and husband. The younger daughter--not so much. Thought she did eat the bacon crumbles. 

5 medium potatoes
3-4 leeks (white part only)
2-3 shallots finely chopped
6 -8 pieces good quality bacon (divided because you will blend some into the soup and use the rest as a topping)
4 cups of chicken stock  (I used low sodium organic chicken broth by Imagine, homemade stock would be even better)
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons of oil ( I used grapeseed)
Salt to taste
Seasoning of choice (I used a spice blend from Trader Joe's)

Peel and chop shallots and set a side. 
Wash leeks really well. Chop and set aside 
Wash potatoes, peel if the skin looks meh, leave skin on if it's pretty unblemished. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces

In a large pot or preferably a Dutch oven, heat the oil about 2 minutes. 

Add shallots, cook on medium flame for about 3 minutes.

Add leeks. Cook another 5 minutes.

Add potatoes. Add stock and water.

Continue to cook till potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes.

Season with salt and seasoning. 

In the meantime, cook bacon in a skillet till crispy. Crumble and add 4-6 crumbled slices into the soup in the last 10 minutes of cooking. 

Blend till smooth, using immersion blender. Serve topped with reserved bacon crumbles. 

Potato Leek Soup with Bacon

Citrus Soy Chicken Drumsticks

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Baked drumsticks are always a big hit in my household. Easy, tasty, fast, messy and inexpensive dinner-- what's not to like? I have several drumsticks recipes on my blog already Baked Asian Style Drumsticks and Soy Balsamic Drumsticks and here is another one for a little variety.

8-10 drumsticks
Oil of choice --1 teaspoon
Seasoning you like for chicken (I used 21 Seasoning Salute from TJs)
1/2 cup of Low Sodium Soy Sauce
2-3 crushed garlic cloves
Juice of 1 orange

Combine all ingredients except chicken in large ziploc bag. Shake to mix. Add chicken and shake it to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator anywhere between 1/2 hour to overnight.

Bake at 400F for about 40 minutes till brown. Flip over 1/2 through cooking time. This recipe would work just as well with other chicken parts, modify cooking time according to thickness.

I only marinated for about 1/2 hour and these tasted great anyway. I bet they would have been even better if marinated longer.


Inspired by http://www.sandraseasycooking.com

Butternut Squash Parsnip Soup

Monday, October 6, 2014

This soup is a twist I tried on our family favorites, Butternut Squash Apple Soup . This version contains parsnips instead of apples and is topped with crunchy bacon. 

Butternut squash 
2 parsnips
4 small shallots or one medium onion, diced
4-5 cups of chicken stock (I use a combination of homemade chicken stock that I froze and Imagine Low Sodium Organic Chicken Broth)
1tbs oil, I use grapeseed
Salt pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg optional
1 teaspoon sugar
Sea salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1/2 cup of milk or cream ( I used 2 % milk)
1-2 pieces of bacon per bowl (Optional)

If you are able to get your hands on peeled and cut up squash, skip to the end of step 1.

1) Wash and dry your squash. Using a sharp knife to piece a few holes in the squash. Place it on a paper towel. Microwave about 3 minutes and flip over. Let cool a bit. At this point, you should be able to peel it, scoop out seeds and cut into cubes. 

2) Wash and peel parsnips. Chop into 1/2 inch pieces. 

3) In a medium pot, heat oil. Add shallots. Cook about 5 minutes till soften. Add squash, parsnips and broth. Cook on medium flame till squash and parsnip are soft, about 20 -25 minutes. 

4) Add salt, sugar, pepper and nutmeg if using. Another option to nutmeg if you like spicy is a bit of curry powder.  Add milk or cream.  
Using immersion blender, blend your soup.

5) If using bacon, cook till crisp per package direction. Drain and chop into small pieces.

6) Add soup to bowls. Top with bacon if using and serve.

I served these with crackers I made out of Nasoya wonton wrappers. I cut the wrappers into strips, sprayed with cooking spray and baked at 350 till golden brown.