Sweet Potato Leek Bisque and a Baby

Last weekend I made this delicious soup. It started out as a plan for potato-leek soup with some goods I picked up at the Borough Hall greenmarket.  I decided to add sweet potatoes to give it a happy orange, sweet, and healthy-ish twist. Most importantly, the soup was fresh, quick and provided easily reheated leftovers. Time out shopping and in the kitchen are quite the commodities lately.

You see, 2 months ago I gave birth to my son. The last few weeks of pregnancy I got a little slow, but really had quite a healthy, easy time. But, no more long walks! And then Ian came right on schedule, but with complications and a c-section. He came out beautiful and healthy - and I not so much. Long story short: we were hurried home from the hospital for hurricane Sandy, I struggled to recover and battled extremely high blood-pressure and dizziness, and we were back in the hospital a few days later for pre-eclampsia. At 2 weeks post-partum, most moms would be starting to walk around, picking up their baby and enjoying the thrill of learning to change poopy diapers - and I was able to do none of these things.

So it took me a little longer than most to recover both physically and mentally from the experience of birth. It took us longer to be ready for visitors. It felt horrible to need help making instant oatmeal, or just to get off of a bed. But I was determined to get back in the kitchen, and out walking my dog, as soon as possible. I took a few trial runs while we still had moms here helping, and was out and about on my own by 4 weeks.

Needless to say, I'm not diving into any experiments in cooking, nor am I walking brisk miles with the dog. But I have found a bit of time to cook fresh food on some days, and to teach Misty to walk with the stroller. The greenmarket is the one place where all these things can co-exist - with a little patience and upper body strength!

So, with a stroller in one hand, a dog leash in the other, and a sack of yams in the other, I've found at least some inspiration to cook. And by the way, in case you didn't catch it, I've completely lost the ability to count, or do basic math. The simplest calculations elude me now! So maybe it's best I DO keep it simple in the kitchen, for now. 

But, I'm happy to say I have come up with a blog-worthy recipe. And found time to write it down, take a picture, and gander a few paragraphs of life-stuff in a post. Granted, the process was spread over about 5 days. So for my first post-baby-hiatus recipe, I give you a recipe that is easy, has few ingredients, and makes very yummy leftovers to reheat when time is scarce:

Sweet Potato Leek Bisque
4-6 servings

3 T butter
2 C leeks, trimmed and light green/white parts sliced
2 C Sweet potato or yams, peeled and ½” diced
2 C Russet potato, peeled and ½” diced
4 C vegetable stock
½ C heavy cream
sea salt and black pepper

1. In a stock pot melt butter over low-medium heat. Add leeks and cook 8-10 minutes. They should sizzle gently, and not become crispy and brown.

2. Add potatoes and stock. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and partially blend the soup, either using an immersion mixer or stand blender. Blend about half the soup, leaving chunks of potato.

4. Return soup to low heat. Add cream and season with salt and pepper. Start with 1 teaspoon of salt and add up to 2 more depending on taste.


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