FOR BIGGER AND REDDER TOMATOES: Use 2 tbsp. of our specially priced skim milk powder in each deep hole as you plant your tomato plants. The milk powder acts as calcium to feed the tomato plants. Add a tbsp. of our natural wheat bran as well to prevent cutworms. When they eat the bran, they will explode! These little tricks will give you the best tomatoes ever! Even if you have already planted your tomatoes, do them a favour and add some of the milk powder and bran by just digging carefully down alongside the stem and sprinkling in some milk powder and bran.
I know that I am not alone in this. Ladies shopping in my store tell me they do the same thing as me. Even with our children long gone from home, we still seem to cook as if they were still there. Making large potfuls of soup, stew, etc. This happened again to me. I wanted to make a batch of Blanche’s potato leek soup. Except that I had more leeks than called for so I multiplied the recipe 12 times to use all of my leeks. I have laughingly said in the past that I could get hired by the Canadian Army as a cook as I already cook in very large quantities. haha. That being said, this soup is worth making in any quantity. You don’t even need to use any cream, milk will do just fine.
I puree the cooked potatoes and leeks and freeze this mixture in ziploc bags. When I want some soup, I just thaw a bag and add milk to thin to the desired consistency. Blanche gave me her recipe many years ago and it is simply the best! Many thanks Blanche! Enjoy a great week!
BLANCHE’S POTATO AND LEEK SOUP
INGREDIENTS: (This recipe makes 8 servings. In my pictures, I made 12x this quantity.)
2 tbsp. butter + 1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cups of sliced leeks, mostly the white part with just a couple of inches of the tender green
4 cups of peeled, diced potatoes
3 cups of chicken broth (use 2 of our organic no salt or MSG chicken bouillon cubes)
milk or cream as needed when you are going to eat your soup OR you can use evaporated milk instead of cream for a rich creaminess
Carefully rinse the leeks under cold running water. Leeks grow in sand and each layer in the leek plant will hold bits of grit and sand. You have to carefully separate each layer to remove all of the sand. Once you rinse and slice the leeks, rinse them again to see that there is no sand remaining. You can use a salad spinner here if you wish. Pat the sliced leeks dry with a tea towel.
In a heavy bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the butter and oil. Add to this the rinsed and sliced leeks. Saute them for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are softened.
Add to them the peeled and diced potatoes. Stir to combine.
Add the chicken broth (If you are using the organic no salt or MSG bouillon cubes from Sharyn’s Pantry, just add 3 cups of water with 2 of the bouillon cubes.) Stir well.
Bring this to a boil and then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes and leeks are tender.
Cool slightly. Add ladlefuls of the mixture to a food processor or blender and puree batches until all mixture is smooth.
If you are freezing any of this puree, cool it completely and then ladle this into ziploc freezer bags. To do this, I use a 4 cup pyrex measuring cup and open the ziploc bag, fold down the top and place the bag in the measuring cup. The pyrex cup will safely hold the bag, fill to close to the top, lift the bag from the pyrex measuring cup and press the edges to seal completely, pressing out any air as you go along.
If you plan to eat your soup now, just add the pureed potato and leek mixture to the saucepan and add milk, or cream or evaporated milk to the puree. Add enough milk to give you the desired thickness or thinness you like.
You can season your soup now with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, you can add some chopped parsley or sliced chives sprinkled over top. ENJOY!
SHARYN THOMPSON, Owner of SHARYN’S PANTRY – a family-run business for 35 years. 812 Pitt St, Unit 6, Cornwall, Ont 613-936-1998 OPEN: Monday to Saturday – 9 to 5
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