Springing a Leak

It is early February but I have spring on my mind. It is my favorite season. I love the way everything wakes up after the long winter nap. However, thoughts of spring aside, it is still cold outside so here is another soup to warm your chilled bones.

Cream of Leek and Potato Soup

2 leeks, ends trimmed, washed and chopped into 1/4 ” pieces

6 potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

3 strips of bacon cut into small pieces

butter, extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil

1 small onion, diced

1 900ml carton of no-sodium chicken broth

1 cup of (35%) Whipping Cream

(optional) few sprigs of fresh rosemary

salt and pepper

In a large pot, place the knob of butter and a good sprinkle of oil. Over medium-low heat, saute the onion, bacon and leeks until the onion is golden and tender, the leeks are getting soft and the bacon is beginning to crisp, about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes, salt and pepper to taste and toss all together. If using the fresh rosemary leaves, add them now. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer 35-45 minutes until potatoes are fork tender. Add 1 cup of whipping cream, stir well and simmer until heated through. If desired, use an immersion blender to puree the soup and serve hot. Delicious with a few croutons added and some grated cheddar cheese. Enjoy!

This particular recipe brings a couple of verses to mind. The first one is found in Matthew 5:13. “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.” May we take every opportunity to keep the salt of our life in Jesus Christ fresh for Him, so we may tell others about Him, for His glory. The second verse is Colossians 4:6.”Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” (Both are NKJV). Lord, let me speak gracious, nurturing words as a testimony to Your love and grace in my life.

 

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There’s Something Fishy About This One

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This recipe is one for any white fish. I made it the first time with Mahi Mahi, but also made it last week with haddock fillets. Delicious!

Club House Lemon & Herb Seasoning

4 fillets of your choice, any white fish

2 tbsp Butter

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

Fresh Cilantro

Sweet Chilli Sauce

Lemon Juice

In a pan, melt butter with EVOO. Place fish fillets in pan and sprinkle with Club House Lemon & Herb Seasoning. Turn fish after 3 minutes and put more seasoning on the second side of each piece of fish. Add a handful of fresh Cilantro to the pan and 2 Tbsp of Sweet Chilli Sauce. Add 4-6 tsp of lemon juice. Turn fish again and baste with liquid in pan. Turn once more and baste other side of each piece of fish. Prep time is 10 minutes and cooking time is 14-16 minutes. Serve the fish with the sauce from the pan over mashed potatoes or rice.

And He [Jesus] said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19. Just as Jesus called those fishermen to leave their boats and nets and come follow Him, so He still calls us to follow Him every day. He will never disappoint us and we will never regret a single moment in His presence. He alone, is the only One to give us complete satisfaction in this life. Then we have the incredible privilege of telling others about Him, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

And the meat goes on…

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Lest you think the only thing I know how to make is soup, here is a recipe for pork tenderloin that developed in my kitchen one night last week. It was a hit with the family!

Citrus Pork Tenderloin

2 pork tenderloins, extra fat and silver skin removed

Marinade: 3 tbsp orange marmalade

2 tbsp lemon marmalade

1/4 Cup aged balsamic vinegar

1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

chopped, fresh rosemary

1 heaped tsp grainy mustard

salt and pepper

Cut pork tenderloin into 1/4″ medallions. Place in large freezer bag, add marinade. Seal bag and let marinate for 1-1 1/2 hours in fridge. Fry pork medallions in a large fry pan, 5 minutes per side, turning often, until cooked through. You can pour the marinade into the frying pan too as it will cook long enough to be safe.

Serve over mashed potatoes or rice.

 

In Exodus 16: 2-3 we read how the people complained in the wilderness. They thought it would have been better to die as slaves with pots full of meat then to die of hunger in the wilderness. Thankfully, the LORD provided meat for them in the form of quail, but it wasn’t too long before they were complaining again.

Oh, Lord, keep us from complaining. We have so much to be thankful for!

“Do all things without murmuring and disputing.”

Phil. 2: 14 NKJV

 

Next time…a recipe for your favorite type of white fish!

And I am working on that Creamy Potato and Leek soup.

 

 

 

Variations on a Theme

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If that title seems familiar it is probably because you know it from a piece of classical music by Joseph Haydn. I have had this title going around in my head since this morning. I am going to add a couple more soup variations today as the snow flakes waft gently down outside. We had the sweet potato soup for lunch!

Sweet Potato Soup

Following the same basic method from yesterday’s post, use 3 large, peeled sweet potatoes. Chop them into smaller pieces to speed up cooking time. Use 1/4 tsp dried thyme and 1-900 ml carton of no-sodium chicken broth along with a generous handful of bacon bits (the real ones, not simulated, or fry up your own bacon slices as per yesterday’s post). Simmer gently until sweet potatoes are tender. Puree and enjoy!

For a vegetarian variation on any of these soups, omit the bacon and replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth.

For a taste sensation zap, add 1/2″ piece of ginger, peeled and diced to the sweet potato or carrot soups.

This title also reminds me of a Bible verse:

My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Psalm 45:1 NKJV

May your day be filled with praises to our King, our Lord Jesus Christ!

On A Cold Winter’s Day

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We all know and love the expression “comfort food.” It is part of us and brings to mind images of food we grew up with and food we crave when we don’t feel well and food that reminds us of home. There is something especially comforting about soup on a cold winter’s day. Here is an easy recipe for Potato and Bacon Soup.

Potato and Bacon Soup

5-6 medium size potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes (you can leave the peel on just scrub them well)

1/2 onion, diced

5-6 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces vertically (lardons)

1-900 ml carton of no sodium chicken broth

Salt and pepper

Cheddar cheese, grated (about 1/4-1/2 cup)

In a large pot, cook onion and bacon together until onion is translucent and bacon is beginning to crisp up. Add the salt and pepper to taste.

Add the potatoes and the carton of broth. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer and simmer until potatoes are soft.

Use a hand blender (immersion blender) to puree soup until smooth.

Serve hot with a good pinch of grated cheddar cheese.

Here is another favorite:

Creamy Carrot Soup

6-7 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4″ pieces

1-900 ml carton of no sodium chicken broth

1/2 onion, diced

Pinch of fresh rosemary leaves

Salt and pepper

Whipping Cream 1/2 Cup (optional)

Cook onions in a large pot until translucent. Add carrot pieces and chicken broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. I like to use white pepper in this one.

Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until carrots are soft. Add fresh rosemary during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Puree the soup until smooth. For a creamier soup, stir in 1/2 cup of whipping cream after pureeing with immersion blender.

2012 Comes to an End

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As we head into the final days of this year I am thinking of two verses to encourage you with.

Psalm 20:4 says  “May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, And fulfill all your purpose.” Another word for purpose is counsel. I pray your heart’s desire is to grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord delights in granting that desire!

The other verse is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Actually the next two verses in that passage are just as wonderful: “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12-13

May you have a future in Him!

Hopefully, 2013 will also be the year you embark on some new culinary adventures. The kitchen is the heart of the home and we keep it beating with healthy, fresh food. I look forward to being on the journey with you!