Spring Potato Soup with Dijon Potato Cream

Today felt a little more like spring than the last few blustery days here in the midwest.  Despite a bit of a cool breeze today, I was fortunate to find a sheltered place in front of my house to sit and absorb some sunshine.  Might as well let my body start making it’s own vitamin D as early as possible.  

Speaking of spring, our house has been invaded by little brown ants. Not the teeny weeny grease ants, the regular small brown ones you see outside…OUTSIDE.  I have no idea why they have gotten so active in the house…and today they moved into part of the kitchen.  I’ve noticed they migrate to different parts of the house at different times of the year…I’m not sure what makes them go where they go.  I also was visited by a VERY creepy looking spider this morning…he was ambling his way into the kitchen from the dining room.  Again…I’m not sure why he was inside…seems he should have been OUTSIDE!  Sometimes I rescue bugs and place them safely outside (I’m weird like that!)…but not this one. He was way to icky looking so I squished him with the bowl from my mortar and pestil…it was the heavy thing I could find on short notice!! I’ve never seen a bug like this one before…I hope he doesn’t have any other family members in my house.  It’s definitely spring outside…I just wish the bugs in my house would realize that!

I’ve had a pretty nasty head cold this past week and have been eating a lot of soups and bread as a way to comfort myself.  Today was no exception, I wanted a yummy and comforting soup, but with us being full blown into spring, it needed to be a little lighter.  So I decided to make a ‘spring’ version of my potato soup…and it was a hit! 

It’s very similar to my plant strong version of my winter potato soup, but it has a few spring twists including some fresh dill and chives.  Measurements are estimates as I don’t meaure much when I make up recipes.  I save exact measurements for baking!

Here’s the recipe!  It’s great served with some warm crusty bread.

Kirsten’s Spring Potato Soup with Dijon Potato Cream

Ingredients:

Potato Cream:

4 (or more) large yukon potatos cooked and set aside

Dijon mustard (maybe 1-2 Tbs)

Champaigne vinegar (maybe -1-2 Tbs)

Soy milk (or other non dairy milk)

Soup:

Veggie stock (no or low sodium)

8-10 smallish yukon potatoes peeled, sliced into about 1/4 inch rounds and soaked in water (to remove excess sugars)

1 medium yellow onion, diced

10-12 small-medium green onions-white part only, sliced thin

3 small-medium cloves of garlic, minced fine

1 1/2 Tbs flour (any kind is fine, I used whole wheat pastry flour since it was closest)

White pepper

Salt, as needed

Chopped fresh dill (about 1tsp)

Chopped fresh chives (about 3 Tbs)

Directions:

  1. Saute yellow onion in a little veggie stock until softened.  Add some white pepper and stir.  Add garlic and more stock if needed to keep garlic from sticking; saute about a minute, until it is fragrant.  Add green onions and stir and saute about another minute (you just want to soften them a touch). 
  2. Add the flour and stir to create a roux.  Add about 8 cups of water and the sliced potatoes.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer (covered) until potatoes are soft (20-30 minutes).
  3. While soup is cooking make the potato cream:  Scoop out the insides of the cooked potatoes and place in food processor.  Add the dijon mustard and champaigne vinegar and blend.  Add soy milk to create a creamy gooey mixture.  Taste and add more dijon or vinegar to taste.  Don’t add too much as you don’t want it to be too strong.
  4. I then put this in a bowl and added some hot liquid to temper it a bit.  Don’t add too much as you want the mixture pretty thick.
  5. I then added a little more flour mixed with water to the cooking soup to thicken it a little more.  
  6. Add the potato cream to the soup and stir to keep it from separating.
  7. Turn the heat off and add a little dill and some of the chives and stir.  Taste it at this point and adjust seasonings as needed. Fresh dill can take over a dish pretty quickly, so use sparingly.  I don’t recommend using dried dill.
  8. Serve the soup garnished with some more fresh chives and dill and some good crusty bread.

Enjoy!

  

Bib #1132

So I finally completed my first 5K today. It was to raise money for a food pantry that we donate to heavily as a company. I organized a team of 14 of us to participate and we raised over $1,300!

My day started earlier than I wanted when I woke up at 2:15am from a strange dream and never went back to sleep (a common problem for me). At least while I was laying in bed I was able to figure out dinner for Sunday, and what Birthday treats to make for my birthday next week!

My girlfriend and I got to the event early to secure parking and found most of our group before the event started. We were able to communicate a common meeting spot to gather at after the event to everyone before we started. There was a nice rendition of the Star Spangled Banner sung by a young girl and I was pleased to see many people put their hand on their heart as we faced the American flag while she sang. Then we were off. My intent was to walk and jog intermittently. My girlfriend and I started out together, then pretty soon she was off jogging. I was not ready to jog, so I walked very briskly and then started some jogging. In the beginning it was on and off as I got warmed up. I realized my jacket had to come off so I walked while I tied it around my waist. Having a clean x for my runny noise was o-so-important also as my spring allergies are starting to kick in. After about maybe half a mile I started jogging, and never really stopped, until I got to a hill. WTF…I haven’t trained to jog up hills!!! But as I warmed up I actually made it up and down several. They weren’t really big hills…they called them rolling hills!!! They are still a rise in elevation, so it’s a hill in my book. The scenery was beautiful as we ran around a golf course…lots of green and bushes blooming and water…very pretty. I walked when we got to the water station which was halfway…I’ve never drank from an open water bottle while running and didn’t want to try now and end up wearing it! After a short bit of walking to drink about half the bottle, I started jogging again. At one point, after the 3 mile mark I passed my girlfriend that started before me. I was on a role so I kept going…up this very slow incline. About 3/4 of the way up I had to walk…it was tough. As I started jogging again, I felt my leggs get wobbly, so I walked again and took some deep breaths. I was getting near the finish line and wanted to jog across it so I started up again…and was very excited to jog across! I had a big smile on my face when I finished! I found other team members and we waiting at the finish line to cheer everyone one as they finished. We took some more group photos then everyone went to explore the food trucks. They had bananas, granola bars and cheerios for post run snacks…I had a banana and some water.

We explored the food trucks then decided Chipolte was better…so we headed there. Of course it’s too much salt…but it was good. Unfortunately there was a small bag of chips included. After a hair appointment I came home a crashed for a few hours. Dinner was yummy leftovers of pasta and veggies, green beans and eat loaf.

My finish time was 43.35, and I was 18th in my age group…I’m thinking that’s not too bad. I know there were several over 49-54 year olds in the race. The best part…I want to do another one!!! It is rather addicting, especially since I have a time to beat now!!!

I’m also trying to figure out how to make this more successful next year. We need to get more people to partcipate…it was great team building for our company. I also want to work with our CEO to see if we could be a sponsor and give chocolate milk away at the finish line…we promote it as a good post workout recovery…this has a lot of potential.

It was really a lot of fun!   We even got a good back of swag including a cool shirt which we’re all wearing to work on Monday.

Here are a couple of photos of the fun!

 

  

  

How it All Started

I’ve been wanting to make a traditional plant strong French Toast for sometime now.  I’ve made versions using french bread, but they were just OK.  I had a recipe in mind, I just needed to ‘plantify’ it.  Today was the day, as it seemed that Easter was a good occasion to make French Toast for a special breakfast treat.  I dug out my favorite recipe from an old cookbook.  I got to work and made the necessary adjustment by using EnerG Egg replacer for the eggs called for in the recipe.  I even used my parents old egg beater to mix the batter.  I heated up the electric skillet and away I went.  The french toast turned out wonderfully delicious-crispy on the outside, moist on the inside. I used Ezekial bread for my servings, and used some Pepperidge Farm bread for my husband’s servings.  It was a WONDERFUL breakfast.  But what made it so wonderful was the cookbook I used.  It brought back so many wonderful memories.

The Mother Daughter Cookbook is how my love of cooking started.  The book has parts highlighted in different colors…the purple/pink is what the daughter can do like stir, crack eggs, etc.  Other things, like cooking and cutting are reserved for the ‘mom’.  My earliest memory of this book is using it to help my dad make french toast for Saturday morning breakfasts…I might have been 4 or 5 years old.  Old enough to use the egg beater to beat the eggs (I still have that egg beater!).  I remember pouring over the drawings in the book.  I learned many cooking terms from this book, even though I really wouldn’t know what they meant until years later.  I loved using that book.  I loved helping my mom and dad cook.  Dad and I would cook breakfast together…it was a great bonding time.  Mom and I did a lot of other cooking together.  I think I like baking cookies so much since some of my earliest memories include helping mom make her famous ‘Chocolate Chippers’.

I continued to help mom cook throughout the years, and when I brought home a ‘serious’ boyfriend in college, mom thought it was time to I learned how to cook on my own.  The summer after my freshman year, we would spend one day a week preparring a meal.  I would plan what I needed based on the meal I would prepare, shop for it with my mom, then prepare the meal by myself.  Mom would be there to help and coach, but it was my meal to prepare.   The hardest part was the timing of everything, so it was all ready at the same time…but that was the best thing my mom taught me.  I think I do a good job getting all things to the table at the same time.  The worst thing I had to cook was a whole chicken.  I remember sqealing when I picked it up in my bare hands to run it under cool water….it was so very slimy and gross feeling.  My dad even heard me scream from the back yard and came running into the house to see what the commotion was!!! I still smile to this day thinking about that experience. 

I owe my love of cooking and my repretaire of cooking skills to my mom.  She loved to cook as did her mother.  I’m glad I’ve inherited that love!  Sharing your love of cooking with a child can do wonders for both the teacher and the student.

Here are some photos from the cookbook…it was printed in 1967 (they even used MSG in some of the recipes…ICK!!!)