This past Saturday, hubby and I spent the morning doing one of our favorite summer activities. We spent some time at the local farmer’s market picking out organic vegetables. The little market in Pine, AZ is small but mighty. It’s run by one of my best friend’s partners, and let me tell you this man’s garden is his one true passion. Bill is able to grow vegetables here that, frankly, provoke envy from others in town who’re also into their summer gardens. Diane is an artist and she created all the ambiance to showcase the veggies. Check out her cute chalkboard signs and red bins for color. She’s also hand carved a cute linocut logo and screen printed cotton bags and aprons.
We’ve had Diane and Bill for dinner at our family cabin many times and I’ve learned a lot about the subject, including all the little nuances people love to tell when they have a passion. For me, buying the fruits of Bill’s labor is a little like buying a piece of art from someone who I really like. Whenever we bring them home, I immediately jump onto the internet to look up a fabulous new recipe to experiment with. It’s really fun to know we’re immediately going from garden to table.
This week, we bought sweet little potatoes, leeks, zucchini, carrots and a mix of salad greens. I had pulled out a ham bone from the freezer the night before and decided to cook it down. I had planned to make some lentil soup and use the ham leftovers, but after visiting the farmer’s market, I decided to make potato, leak and ham soup. My family always gobbles this up, so I make it quite often during winter months. This is a recipe I know like the back of my hand. Hubby was so excited about fresh zucchini that he asked me to saute them up immediately for a snack while I was getting the soup ready. You can see them in the photo above.
Since I’m on summer break with my kids right now and not spending much time in my studio, I decided to share some creative cooking. Here’s my own recipe for this yummy soup.
4 cups of diced potatoes
3 leeks, white and bright green parts of the stem
3 carrots (four if they are smaller from the garden like mine were)
1 1/2 cups diced ham
2 tablespoons Better than Bouillon chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons Avocado oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon dried Herbs de Provence (if you don’t have it, use dried Italian seasoning spices)
salt to taste
4 cups water
1 cup half and half
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 stick butter
Put diced carrots into pot with 4 cups water, 1 tablespoon of chicken Better and Bouillon and bring to boil. Cook carrots until they are soft.
Caramelize leeks in a skillet with extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil (I’ve been buying avocado oil at Costco and using more than my EVOO)
Add diced carrots to caramelized leeks and cook until soft
Add cooked carrots and leeks to pot with cooked potatoes
Add diced ham
Make a roux —
place 1/2 stick of butter in a skillet and melt
Add 2 tablespoons of flour to butter and 1 tablespoon of chicken Better and Bouillon and stir until its a thick paste
Add 1 cup half and half to the mixture and stir until its creamy and smooth with no lumps
Add the roux to the potato soup
Add salt to taste
Cover pot and turn to simmer
And just for a little fun, I wanted to share this Ryan Gosling meme that I found on the Internet that relates to my theme. Um, yeah, he can cook for me any time.
I hope you’re enjoying your summer and getting time to be creative in whatever way your muse inspires.