Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Bacon, Leek and Barley Soup

I love soup. It is probably my favorite "type" of food. Recently, I landed on my new favorite: Bacon, Leek and Barley!

I believe that bone broth is extremely nourishing and healing. So, I love to get as much of it into my family and myself as possible. 

I recently tried making the English Bacon, Leek and Potato soup from the Nourished Kitchen blog. Seeing as I live in Ireland, I had no trouble finding the right kind of bacon. I loved this soup SOOOO much. 

This soup made me nostalgic for the soup my granny used to make. No one I have asked seems to know what her recipe was and it has been over 30 years since I have tasted it. So I am not sure if it even tastes like this, but this definitely brought me back. One big difference that I did notice though:  Granny's soup had barley in it. 

I tend to oscillate between following a strictly paleo diet and experimenting with traditional grains. So I decided to try their recipe with added barley. It was fabulous and even more like granny's soup. Either with the barley or without, this soup is a winner and my current fave. Here is the recipe:

Bacon, Leek & Barley Soup

250g rashers (English/Irish bacon)
80g leeks chopped
100g carrots chopped
470g potatoes chopped
100g barley
1-2 Tbsp butter
Sea salt to taste
8-10 cups bone broth*

1. Sautee the leeks in butter until they soften.
2. Add the carrots and sautee about one more minute
3. Add the bacon and cook til nicely brown
4. Add bone broth, potatoes and barley. 
5. Simmer until the potatoes and barley are both soft, about 20 minutes
6. Add salt to taste.

*Note. Every week, either on Sunday or Monday I roast a chicken for dinner, so that  afterwards I can stick the bones in the crockpot overnight and then have broth for the weeks cooking. From one chicken I end up with about 10 cups. (I fill three empty passata bottles and keep them in the fridge)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Knitting : Grey cable tunic sweater

Today I finished knitting my first sweater. Of course, it is grey.

I have actually been able to knit since I was about 7 years old. It's something that we learned in school in Ireland. I'm also very happy to say that both of my children were taught to knit in school last year too.

Anyway, prior to knitting this sweater, I had only ever knit scarves. Maybe three scarves total in my 35 years of being able to knit! My mom is such an amazing knitter, so I never bothered. I would just ask her to knit me what I wanted. 

A few months ago, I was invited to a "knit and stitch" night. My good friend, who is also an expert knitter, convinced me that I actually knew enough (plain, purl, cast on, cast off) to knit something other than a scarf and she showed me how to read a knitting pattern.

I headed to my favorite little wool and craft shop Winnie's Wool Wagon , I bought this Debbie Bliss pattern book:

I also bought ome beautiful bamboo needles (they were a little more expensive than the plastic ones, but so much prettier). I found the most beautiful grey wool,  Drops Andes Light Grey #9020  and got started on my "Cable Yoke Jumper"

I am so very excited. I want to wear my new sweater every day. I have been pinning and pinning sweaters to my to pinterest knitting board. I have joined Ravelry. I am now all set to embark on amassing the ultimate grey sweater collection.