I have always tried to strike a balance between my fondness for the "food experience" and my health, and truly, it hasn't been that difficult. In fact, the two go quite well together despite common misconceptions. This is not to say there haven't been plenty of occasions where I happily drilled fried oysters while visiting the coast, splurged on overly expensive cheese, or had one too many glasses of wine, and most likely I will continue to do things of this nature on occasion. What keeps me in check overall however, is my love for cooking and eating fresh meals at home and a desire to source high quality ingredients. I've tossed dogmas to the side and opted for something simpler. . . no processed stuff, just real food. I find that being mindful most of the time gives me a pretty good margin for error.
I was struck by this month's Food and Wine magazine's letter from the editor. It explored the publication over the course of time, and declared this a new era, one of a healthier attitude. I was so thrilled to see a magazine such as this, (sometimes known for it's decadence), combining it's commitment to fine food and enjoyment with more of a lean toward health consciousness. Really it could have been done long ago, but now is the time when it will undoubtedly be well received.
This is a new era indeed. People are interested in eating healthy food, and that doesn't mean it has to be appealing only to a rabbit. Healthy is finally being recognized as what it can be: tantalizing, comforting, innovative, well sourced, beautiful and simplistic. I commend a magazine such as Food and Wine, for broadening it's horizons. Turns out there is a whole world out there beyond cheese, pasta and cream....not that we will forget about these!
On to the recipe! I'm just going to say it, this soup ROCKS! I'm not really sure why I've posted any other soup recipes other than this one? Please make it! You will be so glad you did!
Potato Leek Soup:
*5 medium gold potatoes, chopped
*3 generous Tbsp butter, or I could just say 4 Tbsp
*3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
*2 celery stalks, chopped
*4 cups water
*2 bay leaves
*salt and pepper to taste
*splash of cream or half and half
Chop leeks using only the white and pale green portions. In a heavy soup pot, saute for about 5 minutes. Add the celery, saute for 4 minutes or so. Add the garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Stir.
Add the potatoes, water, and bay leaves. Bring to a soft boil, reduce heat and simmer covered until potatoes are tender and flavors marry, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Discard bay leaves. Add the splash of cream. Stir. Blend 2 cups of the soup in a blender until smooth and return to pot. Reheat, ladle into bowls and sprinkle with chopped parsley.