Potato, Chicken, & Leek Soup

A few weeks ago, I was introduced to leeks.  I had no idea what to do with them, but they came in a basket of fruits and veggies we got through Bountiful Baskets.  So, I went through cookbooks and did an internet search.  I found a recipe that sounded good and I since I had all the ingredients, I went for it.  It was a hit and the Mr. declared leeks his new favorite vegetable.  Yesterday was a very cold and windy and therefore perfect to make the soup (again).   Each time I make it, I change up little things as this seems to be a great base to experiment with.  Here’s what I did this time.


  • 4 leeks
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 to 3 lbs potatoes cubed
  • 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups freeze dried chicken or you can use fresh cooked shredded chicken


  1. Cut leeks lengthwise, separate, wash well.  Use only the white and pale green parts, chop.  Cook leeks in butter with salt and pepper.  Cover and let saute for 10 minutes.  Check often so they don’t brown.
  2. Add water, broth, and potatoes.  Bring to a low simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until potatoes are on the soft side.
  3. To make the soup creamy use a blender or stick blender.  If using a conventional blender remove about half of the mix and puree in the blender until smooth and return to the pot.  If using a stick blender, just immerse it in the pot and blend away until creamy.  (I used both methods and find both work equally as well…the stick blender is just quicker and easier to clean)
  4. Add chicken, Italian Seasonings and crushed red pepper and more salt and pepper to taste.  Continue to simmer until the chicken is rehydrated (if using freeze dried) or warmed up (if using fresh)
  5. Served with some warm bread or rolls….yum.


*Adapted from Simply Recipes


Pumpkin Whole Wheat Bread

I decided to play with my standard whole wheat bread recipe and substituted canned pumpkin for the milk in equal amounts.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread

The bread turned out really good.  It was moister then normal as well as very filling.  Once slice was more then enough.  I will play with this a bit more because I think adding a little cinnamon will only enhance it.

Canning Turnips

My brother-in-law “threw out some turnip seeds to see what would happen.”  The result was astonishingly large turnips, which he just left in the field after eating a few.

We gleaned a lot of them.  They are sweet when raw and extremely tasty when cooked.  We stored several boxes in the cellar, but also decided to can up lots of them.  It took 2 days with 2 canners (as one was cooling down the other was heating up)

and we netted 43 quarts of processed turnips.

I think we are good for now.

Whole Wheat Crackers

Want a really quick, easy, and healthy snack?  Try these whole wheat crackers:


1 cup freshly ground whole wheat flour (I suppose store bought would do in a pinch but I can’t guarantee results or taste…ha ha)

2 TBSP melted butter

6 or 7 TBSP water

1/2 tsp salt (plus more for topping)

Parmesan Cheese

Mix flour, butter, and salt.  Slowly add water 1 TBSP at a time until well mixed.  You are looking for a wet consistency not sticky.  You want this to be able to roll out thin and easily.  I didn’t even use a mixer, just a spoon and my hands. Roll out until about 1/8 of an inch thick. Score crackers in squares (or shape desired).  Top with additional salt and Parmesan Cheese if desired.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Let cool before eating. (Yes, I burned my tongue because I couldn’t wait.)

By themselves, they were a great snack.  Topped with our own Queso Blanco, oh my………….

Let us know how they turn out if you try them.

Soup Challenge – Week 4

Can you believe we are already on week 4 of our soup challenge?  Time is going by so quickly.  This week I bring you what I will call Throw It Together Taco Soup.  This really is a fly by the seat of your pants recipe, so adjust accordingly to your tastes.

What I used:


1 lb lean ground beef

1 lb ground turkey

1 small onion

1 can vegetarian refried beans

1/2 cup taco seasoning (equivalent of two premade packages)

1 can of corn

1 can of black beans

1 can of tomato sauce

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 slow cooker or crock pot


What I did:

First things first, I chopped the onion and cooked it with the ground beef, turkey, and refried beans.  After draining off the fat, I put the mix in the crock pot, added enough water to cover it, then added all of the other ingredients listed.  Once stirred, I set the lid on the crock pot, set it to medium and walked away from it.  Eight hours later, I made some home made tortilla chips and we sat down to a wonderfully hot and hearty supper.



  • incredibly easy to make
  • affordable
  • 6 out of 6 thumbs up


And when ice is falling from the sky, it’s really nice to have an easy and warm soup to heat things up.


Soup of the Week – Week 3

Our Soup of the Week is “survival soup”.  It is a very easy soup to make if you have the ingredients on hand.  This one can be made if the power is out, you are camping, you are busy running the kids to and from football practice all day, or you just don’t feel like cooking.  It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s still a healthy soup.


Ingredients we used:

Provident Pantry Freeze Dried White Chicken

Provident Pantry Freeze Dried White Turkey

Provident Pantry Freeze Dried Super Sweet Corn

Sweet Peas



Egg Noodles


salt and pepper to taste

Fill large pot about halfway full and add about 2 cups chicken, turkey, or some of both, about 2 cups or so of corn, 2 cans of drained peas, 2 cans of mushrooms and bring to a boil.  This will also re-hydrate your freeze dried meats and vegetables so you might need to add more water.  When the water comes to a rolling boil, add noodles and cook as per manufactures directions (in our case, we went about 8 minutes).  Add any salt or pepper to taste. (This will feed a large family with leftovers so adjust your amounts accordingly)

Once the noodles are cooked, serve up and eat a steamy bowl of soup that is still healthy, hearty, and very quick to make.

Again, this is great if the power is out as long as you can heat water (which you can do outside using an Eco-Zoom stove like I showed here.  It’s quick and easy for those times when life is running you ragged but you still need a quick meal for the family.  Or, even if you are not feeling well and still need to get dinner on the table.  Honestly, I think it took longer for us to photograph everything then it took for us to cook the meal.  Enjoy.

Oh, here’s a quick look at the freeze dried corn and chicken before adding to the soup:

And then after a few minutes in water:



  • 7 thumbs up from the family
  • warm and good on a cold and chilly night
  • filling
  • easy to make




Soup Of The Week – Week 2

I am a little late posting our week 2 soup.  This week was full of soup challenges.  We were going to make steak soup, but that didn’t happen.  I made a batch of squash soup and let me say, that was a huge fail!  Three of out of the four people who took a taste said no way where they going to eat it.  I was one of those people. The fourth, I think would have choked it down, but just to spare my feelings. Total failure.

Thankfully, Cary, over at Serenity Farms came to my rescue this week.  She has taken up the soup challenge and made this squash soup recipe and posted it.  Whew….she saved my squash soup attempt.  I didn’t follow her recipe to the letter, but used it as a guide and we really liked it.

Ingredients Used:

Large butternut squash

3 medium potatoes (skins left on)

1 large onion

2 celery stalks (I used celery I had dehydrated earlier this summer)

1 cup apple juice (also canned earlier this summer)

6 cups water

2 cups milk

2 tbsp butter

salt and pepper to taste


Melt butter in pot and add diced onions.  Cook until translucent.  Add cubed squash (after peeling and seeding) and carmalize.

Add potatoes and celery and cook just a bit to brown the potatoes.

Then add apple juice and water, stir well and let cook for several hours.

Use stick blender and blend well to a creamy consistency.

Add milk, salt, and pepper and cook a bit more.

Serve with a bit of home made farmers cheese (or store bought if you wish…sigh…lol) and a toasted cheese sandwich made on home made bread and you’ve got a winner dinner.

Canning Salsa and Cheese

I canned two small batches of salsa and cheese yesterday.  I really didn’t want to drag out the big water bath canner.  Did you know you can use a regular stock pot as long as it has a tight fitting lid?  You need to come up with a raised bed (so to speak) to keep the jars off the bottom of the pot, so I tied together some jar lids using wire twist ties.

I put enough water in the canner to bring the water over the top of the jars, put it on to boil, and canned the salsa as I usually do.

Then I tried something new to me.  I read that you can can cheese.  So, we decided to give it a whirl and see how it does.  Two pounds of cheddar cheese yielded 5 – 8 ounce jars.  I first melted the cheese then processed for 40 minutes in a boiling water bath.

That hand woven dish towel is pretty nifty too, ain’t it?

Today I will be working on applesauce.  Apples were on sale yesterday and I bought 10 pounds (looking back, I should have gotten more) so I will be peeling and coring, cooking and canning them today.

Canning Peach Butter

You know, you really don’t need to have fresh peaches to make peach butter. I used a #10 can of peaches, pureed them, added brown sugar and cinnamon and let it simmer until reduced and thicker. Then process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.

When all is said and done, yummy peach butter to add to smoothies, yogurt, granola, ice cream, or whatever else you can think of.


All In A Days Work

On today’s agenda:

6 loads of laundry (done)

Make 1/2 gallon of yogurt (warming for 7 hours as I type)

Make a pot of chicken soup (simmering on the stove)

Make dough for bread (bread done and smells so awesome)

Help kids with school work (done)

Clean bathroom (done)

Make appointment for oldest male child (have tried, but his referral isn’t in the system yet)

Start new blog (yeah….I think I did it)

Make granola (done)

Clean up in garage (ongoing project but got three boxes completed)

Place Coffee Order (yummy….done)

Make and Drink Green smoothie (yum…love them)

And it’s not even noon yet.