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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

More Meatless Freezer Stocking: Potato and Bean Soup with Sage

Greetings! I hope I didn't fool you into thinking I was having a baby by not posting on Monday.  The sad truth is I've managed to catch my first cold of this whole pregnancy (all 38 weeks of it) and have been feeling like doing next to nothing lately.  (That said, we've been doing a lot of renovations to the kitchen in anticipation of baby, so I haven't exactly been taking it easy.  I'll have pictures for you when it's all done!)
I have been trying to get the freezer stocked when I can, starting first with these burritos, which reheated fantastically.  This week, I made a huge pot of potato soup.

One of the most common reasons people cite for having trouble quitting meat is their concern with protein consumption.
First, one fact that might surprise you is that the average American consumes more than twice the daily recommended protein amount.
Secondly, animal protein is one of the most expensive choices when it comes to protein, and often comes with other negatives like antibiotic and hormone use, not to mention inhumane growing and slaughtering conditions.
There are plenty of options for meatless protein that don't include the fake meats that some vegetarians seem to love, and it's very easy to sneak these into your normal cooking routine and increase your daily intake of high quality protein at a reasonable price.

I love to make potato soup in the fall, but this time I wanted to tweak my normal recipe for Potato Soup with Bacon and Leeks by removing the bacon and adding some beans for protein and sage for extra flavor.  (Potatoes and sage just go perfectly together. If you've never tried it, check out my recipe for gnocchi with brown butter and sage sauce. It's so simple, so every ingredient just sings.)

Potato and Bean Soup with Sage
makes one gigantic pot


7-10 lbs. potatoes (I used white baking potatoes)
2-3 c. beans, cooked from dry.  (I used red, but white would disappear into the soup well)
4 leeks
2 white onions
3 cloves garlic
4-5 leaves kale, chopped

5-10 c. broth
2-3 c. shredded cheese (Sharp cheddar is excellent)
1 c. sour cream
1 handful (approximately 20 small leaves) sage, chopped

salt and pepper

Roughly chop the potatoes after scrubbing them clean.
Boil these in lots of well-salted water until they're cooked through.  I leave the skins on because they're good for you and I'm lazy.  If you're one of those people who wants perfectly white soup you may peel them, but I just don't think it's necessary.

Meanwhile, prep the rest of your veggies. 
Chop your onions and garlic and get them softening in the bottom of a pan with butter.
Thinly slice the leeks.

Add them to the pan with the onions. 
 Cook down until they get nice and soft.
I cooked my beans the night before in the crock pot.  Once the leeks are soft and the potatoes are done, drain the water from the potatoes and add the leek/onion mixture, your beans, and the remaining ingredients, adding enough stock to just cover everything.
 Shredded cheese will melt more easily.
Cook this down just until it warms up over medium-low heat.  Then use your potato masher to achieve a chunky texture, leaving bits of potato and beans whole.  Once you have the texture you like and the soup is warm, add a big handful of chopped fresh sage.  

Serve hot with a couple sage leaves on top.

 To freeze, pack into a freezer-safe gallon bag and flatten.  Be sure to label with contents and date.
Next time, some bump pictures and updates on the nursery and kitchen!  Until then, enjoy fall!

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