365 days of change and a Leek Soup!
Feb 08, 2015
A few days ago I watched a TED talk (who doesn't love a good TED talk?). During this talk an idea was suggested. .. what if we made one change a day for 365 days? Whether that change is a different action, turning a negative thought into a positive one or making a different more healthy food choice thats 365 different outcomes! 365 better moments, 365! A whole year of change one day at a time. Doesn't sound too difficult to me so I have decided to put this into action. I am recording each days change in a journal and also looking at how these changes have helped me. I am not making this into something huge - some days I will write one word, others days will be more detailed. This idea has hit a nerve with me, seems like a simple thing I can do to help change my world for the better. I feel excited by the concept so know it is a good one for me.
I woke this morning with a distinct feeling of aloneness. I do not like the word ‘loneliness’ I prefer 'aloneness'. Loneliness conjures images of a sad old lady with no friends, who only speaks once a day when buying a pint of milk at the local supermarket. Thats not me by any means but does not mean that at times I do feel alone. How can I make one change today to turn this around for myself? Conclusion - Make a list of 20 things I am grateful for today. Done! I am now feeling much better to see all this gratitude on paper. My life is full, I am blessed and humbled by my list; and that brings me to todays post. Leeks!
On my list of 20 things I am grateful for today is my gratitude that the leeks which I pulled from the ground this morning will make me the most tasty of soups, full of goodness, satisfying, and providing me with lunch for several days. It is quick, easy and oh so norishing.
It is the first time I have attempted to grow leeks and they will now be a permanent feature of my allotment in the winter months. A couple of hours of patient care to plant them and I am rewarded with beautiful chunky leeks which show their white goodness as they are pulled slowly from the damp soil.
I planted my leek seedlings back in July. This was a time consuming process as I decided to plant though some old black sheeting to keep the weeds down. It amazes me how long this process took but it was worth it. Leek seedlings were dropped in deep holes (I made with a garden cane) and not filled in. Just water in well, keeping up the watering in the hotter weather, and allowing them to sort themselves out. The deep hole enables the leek to establish itself and grow deep underground, thereby producing the wonderful tender white stems which is the bit we eat (well that plus the tender green part, discarding the harder top leaves).
Soup is so versatile. You can make it your own, adding and subtracting ingredients as you wish. In this particular soup the vegetables are left whole, with no blending; whereas sometimes you can just roughly chop your choice of veg and not worry about uniformity as the final blending will negate the need, in this instance it is worth spending a few extra minutes chopping :)
For those who like exact measurements (I am usually one of these people), apologies, soup is not an exact science and all will depend on the size of your veggies and the number of people you want to feed. The quantities below will feed 4 with big steaming bowls.
Hearty Leek and Lentil Soup
1 - 3 (leeks depending on size)
2 - 3 stalks of celery
2 - 3 carrots
1 clove of garlic
1 bay leaf (fresh or dried)
50g red lentils
2 tsp good vegetable stock/bullion (I use Marigold)
In a large saucepan heat oil of choice - vegetable, sunflower, rapeseed, olive, butter etc. In this instance I used a knob of butter and a glug of rapeseed oil.
Chop the onion and garlic and sauté gently in the oil.
Slice down the length of each leek and wash under running water to ensure any trapped soil is washed away.
Slice and add to the saucepan, covering with a lid. This helps the softening process and stops the veg from burning on the bottom of the pan.
Peel and slice the carrots adding to the pan along with the bay leaf.
Continue to sauté the vegetables whilst you boil a kettle of water.
Meanwhile pour the lentils into a sieve and check over to ensure there is no grit present Rinse under cold water. Add to the pan.
Sprinke a couple of teaspoons of bullion on top of the veg and cover with the boiled water, ensuring that the water is about an inch above the veg.
Replace the lid and allow to simmer for 25 mins or until the carrots are tender.
Check seasoning - best done at the end as celery can make the soup salty.
Serve with some lovely warm garlic bread, home made rolls, or for a special treat - cheese on toast.