If you've been following Healthy Harvest for a while, you probably know that we do our best to eat seasonal, farm-to-table home cooked meals. At first, that might sound limiting or a like lot of work, but we're here to make it easy and tell you from experience that the rewards are worth it!
Local, seasonal produce is much fresher, i.e. much tastier. But why? Fruits and veggies that are shipped from around the world have to be picked well before they are ripe so as not to go bad before reaching store shelves. When you buy locally grown produce, farmers can pick at the perfect ripeness, often only days or even hours before you buy it. Not only will your food be more full of flavor and nutrients, but you will also be helping to reduce emissions from transporting food across the continent or the world.
So...how do you find locally grown produce? Well, you can look for "Local" tags at your nearest grocery store, or if you really want to support your community, connect with a farmer!
Each winter, Healthy Harvest signs up for a CSA (community supported agriculture) share from Monroe Organic Farm
. We invest an affordable sum of money to become a member-owner of the farm. As an owner, our profits are paid to us in the form of bi-weekly deliveries of food grown on that farm. (
You can find more info about CSA's here.)
This community-supported model gives small family farms the capital they need to stay in business and feed the community, while you get easy access to fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables. Depending on the CSA, you can even find meats, cheeses, honey, and more. Monroe Farms even offers our extra virgin olive oil!
As part of our winter delivery, we always receive an abundance of potatoes and leeks. Leeks are a member of the allium family, or a relative of garlic and onions. They've got a silky, mild flavor and can be used in stir-frys, scrambles, and just about anywhere you'd use an onion. (Read how to wash and prep leeks here.) Like extra virgin olive oil, leeks are high in antioxidant polyphenols that help prevent disease. Anytime we have leeks handy, we CRAVE this classic Potato-Leek Soup. This year, it tastes even better with a drizzle of our bright Lemon Olive Oil
on top before serving.
The bitter cold this week is begging for a bit pot of velvety comfort soup, so try this one and let us know what you think in the comments!
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound potatoes, roughly chopped
- 3 large leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
- salt, to taste
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- Parsley and Lemon Olive Oil, for garnish
- Heat the oil in a large (6-plus quart) stockpot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add potato and cook about 5 minutes. Add leeks and garlic and cook until soft and starting to brown.
- Add the stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Blend until smooth, either using an immersion blender or by carefully transferring to a blender in batches.
- Add the cream, and season to taste with salt (I start with 1 teaspoon and go from there, tasting frequently).
- Ladle into bowls, and garnish with minced parsley and a generous drizzle of Lemon Olive Oil.
Notes: Any kind of potato will work. We used russet. You could used water in place of stock in a pinch. You can add or reduce heavy cream to desired taste and texture. We prefer to blend about three-quarters of the soup, leaving the rest chunky. If you prefer it smoother, blend the whole batch!