Asparagus Leek Potato Soup: #181 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

In the spring and early summer, we can get fresh asparagus delivered in our farm box. One of the treats I like to make when this happens is a creamy asparagus and potato soup with leeks and sage. It’s a comforting, nourishing bowl of healing goodness.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($9 total for a good pot of soup)

12 small Yukon Gold yellow potatoes – $1.80
2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
2 leeks – $2.99
1 bunch/20 stalks of asparagus – $3.29
3 cups vegetable broth – free from boiling leftover kale stalks with some herbs
1/2 tsp sage – $0.14
1 lemon, squeezed – $0.20
2/3 cup plain soy milk – $0.25
Salt and pepper to taste
Roasted chickpea garnish – free leftovers

Directions

1. Prepare the ingredients: wash and chop all the vegetables, and boil the potatoes in a large pot of water for about 15 minutes until you can easily poke a fork through them. Drain and set aside.

2. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chopped leeks and cook for about 5 minutes until they soften, then add the asparagus, potatoes, broth, and sage. Mix well and warm everything up to a boil. When the asparagus is bright green and hasn’t past that to dull green, take it off the heat.

3. Stir in the lemon and soy milk. Blend the whole mixture in batches in a blender until relatively smooth, then return to the pot. Stir and warm over medium heat, then serve warm with a garnish of roasted chickpeas or any other decorative snacks you have on hand.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 18/18 (maximum score!)

If any of you amazing cooks tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Mini Chicken and Leek Pot Pies (Dairy-Free): #117 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

When we were in Scotland, we had to visit the Queen’s castle there. And at the lovely Balmoral, we discovered this cookbook. It has some fantastic recipes, including mini chicken leek pies. I adapted it to a dairy-free version here. These make great picnic snacks too if there are any leftovers from dinner. 

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($9 total)

PASTRY:
1/2 cup margarine – $1.24
2 cups flour – $0.32
1 tsp salt – $0.05
2 tsp sesame seeds – $0.10
2 tsp poppy seeds – $0.10
4 tbsp water – free
1 egg yolk – $0.29

FILLING:
1/2 lb chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces – $2.99
1 large leek – $1.49
2 tbsp margarine – $0.31
2 tsp each thyme and oregano – $1.12
2 eggs – $0.58
1/4 cup plain soy milk – $0.09
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the 1/2 cup margarine, flour, salt, and seeds. Rub it together with your hands until it turns into fine crumbs. In a small bowl, mix the water and egg yolk, then add slowly to the flour mixture while stirring together.

Use your hands to bring the dough together into a ball, but don’t over-knead or it will become tough. Cover the ball in cling wrap and put in the fridge for 20 minutes while you make the filling.

2. Cut the leek into quarters lengthwise, then slice finely. In a large pan, cook the leeks in the 2 tbsp margarine for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Next, add the herbs and chicken, and cook until the chicken is no longer pink.

In a small bowl, mix 1 egg, plain soy milk, salt and pepper together, then pour this over the chicken and leeks and stir to combine. Put the finished filling in the fridge for 20 minutes (or freezer for 10 minutes) before filling the pies.

3. Roll the pastry out to about 1/8 thick, then cut out circles using glasses you have on hand – a wider one for the base and a smaller one for the lid. Experiment with one first to see the right size depending on your muffin tin size. Press the larger circles into the muffin tin, making sure to get right into the corners.

Fill each pastry cup to the top with the chicken leek mixture. Rub a bit of water around the edge of the smaller pastry circle, and use it to cover the pastry cup. Pinch the edges together so the filling doesn’t leak out during baking.

Beat the last egg and a pinch of salt in a small bowl and brush it over the tops of the pies.

Bake at 400F for 20 minutes until they’re nice and golden. Cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. if you have extra filling leftover that didn’t fit in the pies, serve it as a side dish!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings:  2 = 4-6 servings 
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Cauliflower Leek and Apple Soup: #113 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

On a brisk winter day there’s nothing like a warm bowl of creamy cauliflower soup to comfort and nourish. This one is vegan and inspired by French chef Rebecca Leffler, using tahini (made from sesame seeds) and coconut oil for the creaminess. 2/3 of the kids came back for seconds, so that’s as good an endorsement as any. 🙂

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($7 total)

1 tbsp coconut butter – $0.55
1 leek, chopped up (green parts too!) – $1.50
1 red onion, chopped up – $0.50
4 garlic cloves, chopped up – $0.15
1 cauliflower, chopped up – $2.49
1 apple, chopped up – $0.30
Water to cover vegetables – free
1/4 cup tahini – $1.15
1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10
Salt and pepper to taste 

Directions

1. Chop up all the veggies. In a large pan, heat the coconut butter over medium heat, then add the leeks, onions, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are soft, then add the cauliflower and apple and cook for a few minutes more.

2. Fill the pan with water to cover the veggies and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat once it starts to boil and simmer for about 10 minutes, until you can stick a fork into the cauliflower pieces easily.

Using a slotted spoon to leave most of the liquid in the pan, scoop out the veggies into a blender (I had to do three blender batches), adding some of the tahini, olive oil, and just enough of the liquid to be able to blend it into a smooth soup.

Pour into a medium-sized pot and repeat with the remaining veggies.

3. Taste to adjust salt and pepper if needed. Serve as a warming appetizer to dinner, or as a lunch in itself. This soup reheats nicely too, if you have leftovers – just gently heat over the stove or microwave a bowl for yourself. So good!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings:  3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 2 = decent meal (one kid wasn’t too thrilled but the rest of us loved it)
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Welsh Cream of Leek Soup: #15 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

This creamy, delicious soup of leeks, potatoes, garlic, sage, and dill is part of the traditional Welsh celebration of St. David’s (Dewi’s) Day. My dad’s name is David, and his grandkids all call him the Welsh version of his name, Dewi, so this recipe is dedicated to him. He’d probably prefer black cherry ice cream, but leek soup it is. 

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($5.50 total)

2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
2 large leeks, thinly sliced – $1.99
2 cloves garlic, sliced – $0.08
3 potatoes, peeled and diced – $0.90
2 cups water – free
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (I used sage, oregano, and dill) – $0.90
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream – $1.12
1/2 lemon – $0.10
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and cook the leeks, garlic, potato, and herbs for a few minutes until they start to brown. 

Lower the heat to medium-low and add the water, salt and pepper. Simmer for 2 hours.

2. Pour the soup into a blender and blend to a smooth consistency, then return the soup to the pot, squeeze the lemon in, and stir in the cream. Taste for salt and pepper.

3. Serve hot. We ate this with some farm-fresh zucchini fritters, but any biscuits or nice crusty bread will do nicely too.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings:  2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!