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Gardens grow with great nutrition and produce a delicious LEEK and POTATO SOUP

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This is a delicious soup that cost me less than a dollar to make and I was able get 6 servings of LEEK AND POTATO SOUP that are perfect for a light lunch or as a starter for any meal. Even though it's easy to make, it tastes like you're getting a specialty soup made by a gourmet chef. The garnish is entirely up to you. I like a little sour cream, salt and pepper but a nice, buttery piece of sour dough toast is also a great partner for this soup.

I started in my garden with a leek that was left over from last years vegetable garden. Although I had mounded my dirt several times over the last season, I never felt my leeks were quite ready to harvest, they looked like green onions the first year. Now with Spring herbs and vegetables I'm planting, I discovered this leek was good and ready for picking. Perfect for my favorite soup recipe.

My garden is a constant inspiration to me and I often tend the garden as a meditative activity. It brings peace to my heart and quiet from the crazy traffic and pressures of city life. Perhaps one of my very favorite things to do is to spend time in my garden. Gardening is an activity that can draw all kinds of people with different ideas together.

One idea that has been twirling around in my head lately is my desire to bring a garden curriculum into our local schools. If we want to teach the next generation to create the gardens of the future, it is our job to make sure they learn how, so we must teach our children how to start and tend a garden. So I've teamed up with the brilliant garden guru; Nick Federoff to begin the program for elementary schools here in Los Angeles.

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Step 1 Cat West Designs

Step 1

My leeks grew all Winter long without notice. When I was planing for the new season, I realized that these leeks that were never quite ready were big and bursting from the ground. I pulled the largest one from the ground. When you get a leek from the store, STEP 1: Washed and remove outer leaves.

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Step 2 Cat West Designs

Step 2

Most leeks are grown in very fine, fertile soil that is mounded as it grows. The soil gets in between the layers of leek and can give them a gritty taste. STEP 2: Give the leek a simple chop.

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Step 3 Cat West Designs

Step 3

Although you can't see any dirt on the exterior, the slices need an additional washing to remove the grit from the soil. STEP 3: Rinse in a bowl of water to remove any grit.

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Step 4 Cat West Designs

Step 4

Although you can add celery or onion at this moment, for this soup recipe, I'm just using this one beautiful leek from my garden. STEP 4: Toss into a medium sauce pan with a tbsp. of olive oil.

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Step 5 Cat West Designs

Step 5

This is as simple as it can be, just put a flame under your pot and let it happen. STEP 5: With medium heat, cook the leeks over medium heat and stir occasionally until they smell heavenly.

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Step 6 Cat West Designs

Step 6

Sizzling and browning, stir the leeks gently as they caramelize and coat the pan with flavor. STEP 6: Brown a bit and stirring occasionally.

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Step 7 Cat West Designs

Step 7

Before the pan starts to burn, add just enough water to cover the leeks. This will deglaze the pan and add all that wonderful leek flavor to the soup. STEP 7: Add water to cover the leeks, simmer the soup for 20 minutes.

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Step 8 Cat West Designs

Step 8

This is the only item I pulled from my pantry for this recipe. I purchased the potatoes for 99 cents for 5 lbs. STEP 8: You'll need a couple of medium potatoes.

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Step 9 Cat West Designs

Step 9

While the soup simmers, I grab the potatoes and peel them to remove the outer skin. Some folks just wash them and brush the skin to remove any dirt. STEP 9: A simple peeler and they were ready to slice.

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Step 10 Cat West Designs

Step 10

As thinly as I can, I sliced the potatoes so they would cook quickly. If the potatoes are smaller, you could add a third one. STEP 10: Sliced them pretty thinly.

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Step 11 Cat West Designs

Step 11

It's so simple, it seems like something could be missing, so at this point, it's a good idea to give the soup a taste to correct the seasoning. STEP 11: Tossed the sliced potatoes into the pot of simmering leeks.

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Step 12 Cat West Designs

Step 12

Simmer for a few minutes to allow the potatoes to soften and cook entirely through to folk tender. STEP 12: After about 5 minutes simmering the thinly sliced potatoes, add 1/2 cup of milk.

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Step 13 Cat West Designs

Step 13

Then I got out my little immersion blender. If you don't have one of these handy tools, you can toss the whole pot of soup into a regular blender. You'll get a velvety soup with great flavor. Salt and pepper to taste

Step 14
Step 14 Cat West Designs

Step 14

Once the blender has whipped the soup into a velvety consistency, just ladle it into your favorite bowl and garnish with a dollop of sour cream or parsley. Enjoy this hearty soup!

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