spicy leek and potato soup

As you know one of my favorite things in the world is soup. One of my newest faves is an easy spin on leek and potato soup. I’m working on adding more veggies to my diet and having meatless meals more often, and this soup does both with making me feel deprived. It’s not really low calorie, but any broth based soup that fills you up is going to be lower calorie than most meaty meals anyway.

This one is super easy, and it’s a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. If you don’t want to make mashed potatoes just for this, you can use a small package of instant. Keep in mind I’m not so perfect with the measurements. More or less any of these ingredients won’t make much difference. Sweat your onions, not the small stuff.

I like my onions pretty well cooked (crunchy onions in soup = ewww!) so start sweating your onions in the butter or olive oil first. Don’t brown them, just make them translucent.

While those cook you can prep your leeks. I like to split them down the middle and finely julienne them so I have fairly small pieces. Then I put them in a big pot of water to soak. The leeks will float and the dirt that is always caught in them will fall to the bottom. Once they are clean just skim the leeks right off the surface of the water and put them in with your onions to cook down.

When the leeks and onions are both translucent you can add your broth, potatoes, and spices. If you like your soup a little creamier you can add some half and half or whatever you have on hand. Simmer for a few minutes, and it’s ready.

Note: I like my soup pretty spicy so I add about 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne, but you can skip that if you don’t want it hot.

Let me know if you try it! I’m going to have my leftovers right now…

on raising a geek*

Geeks rule the world.

If you’re reading this blog, then chances are you’re a geek* too, so you know what I’m talking about. And you get why I’m actively striving to raise a geek. But not just in an I-<3-scifi kind of way. In a I-love-to-read and question-the-universe and take-things-apart-just-to-rebuild-them-all-day-long kind of way.

I don’t talk about Josh’s brains much here because it can get awkward and braggy sounding and I don’t want to be ~that~ mom. But, it’s something I need to talk about sometimes because omg the kid makes me crazy with the smarts. I’m a little bit afraid.

For example. He’s now reading The Hobbit. (Not an abridged version.) I was looking for something to read TO him that would challenge his listening skills. After I finished reading a few pages and Damon finished reading a few pages he took it to bed with him and read it for another half an hour alone.

Of course, reading alone in bed is a nightly event and highly encouraged, but The Hobbit? Really? Surely he didn’t understand any of it? Right? Hmmm. So after the second time he read some of it alone, we questioned him, and he was perfectly able to recount the whole chapter to us. To be completely honest, I am floored.

Remember, he is still 6. Six. First grade.

Anyway, we are encouraging the geek in him:

Last Friday I asked him if he wanted me to get him anything from the library since I was going while he was in school. He thought for a moment and said “can you get me some good non-fiction?” Um. Yeah. I’ll get right on that.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s definitely a six year old in so many ways. We don’t even push him to do any of this, it’s happening spontaneously, and I’m left stunned by the things he says and does. So I throw as many geeky** things his way, and we’ll see what sticks. If you have any ideas what I should throw at him next, I’m all ears.

*It’s important to note that around here geek is a good word, nay, a great word. We pride ourselves on our geekdom.

**Including some scifi. Ahem.

resolve

So it’s the first week in January. That means we’re all blogging about trying to lose weight right? Yep, me too. If you were bored with all of my “exercise this” and “diet that” posts last year you might as well just go away now, because I’m starting it all over again.

Yeah, wicked boring, I know. But truly, writing about it helped me stay on track, accountable.

So my goal this year is not a particular number. Just for the number to be less than it is now. The goal is to eat right, and exercise as often as possible. That’s it. No tricks. That’s how I did it before and that’s what I will do again.

I started by going to the gym this morning. I also picked my food diary back up, and, you know, actually wrote in it.

ps. The Loser Moms are starting a second round of their online Biggest Loser contest if anyone wants to join us!

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