Originally published on Golden The Label.
I am a massive soup lover. Soup is like winter’s version of a smoothie. It’s warming, mostly healthy and is basically like a giant hug from your Granny. Can you tell? I really LOVE soup.
Over the years, I’ve shared a few soup recipes, Simple Soup (aka Potato & Leek), Healing Chicken Soup, & A Simple Split Pea Soup; all which I still cook today. Back in 2013 when I shared my first soup recipe, I described myself has having ‘a laissez-faire approach to my soup making’. Not much as changed in five years. To be perfectly honestly my style of cooking hasn’t changed one bit over the years.. my food photography however… well would I like to think that has improved 😉
I absolutely adore Potato & Leek soup, but I have been experimenting with ways to reduce the amount of potatoes in this soup and instead adding some cauliflower/spinach. There is nothing wrong with the humble potato; but increasing the variety of vegetables within the soup just gives me the extra nutrients I need. Also a little side note, potatoes are very high in potassium, something I need to limit as I approach dialysis, so I am attempting to make the potato switch out, before dialysis starts to eliminate my carb withdrawals.
Now I have made this soup many a times in the thermomix; which does the chopping for me; but if I am being honest (shhhh don’t tell my hubby); I do still love to spend time chopping vegetables. It is kind of like my happy place. Chopping leeks always takes me back to my days living in Paris where I spent a lot of my time cooking. Alors… here I present to you my take on Potato, Cauliflower & Leek Soup with some added baby spinach cause we can all add some more greens to our day.
What you need
2 Leeks, 1/2 Small or a 1/4 Giant Cauliflower, 4 small potatoes (you could easily use 2 large ones, I only had smallish potatoes), Butter, 1-1.5L Chicken Stock, Salt, Pepper, Herb of choice (I used coriander) and Baby Spinach.
What to do
Chop all the veggies and make sure you give the leeks a good wash; they often have bits of dirt hiding in them. Add leeks and a good knob of butter (or whatever cooking oil you like to use) to your pot and gentle cook until they are soft and translucent. Next add in your potatoes, cauliflower, herbs and chicken stock (you can also use veggie stock); and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 45mins – 1 hour. Remembering to give the soup a little stir every now and then. Add in baby spinach before serving.
Leave chunky for a hearty style or blitz in the blender/thermomix/bar mix for a silky smooth soup. I prefer a smoother soup; the blended cauliflower and potato makes it extra creamy and delicious. You can whiz the baby spinach up with all the soup or mix in extra just before serving. I topped my soup with pepper & kimchi to give a little chilli kick and drizzled over a bit of olive oil. You could also add some goat cheese or parmesan on top or a squeeze of a fresh lemon.
If you are a visual learner… here is the visual version. #YoureWelcome
Made with love. Enjoy Xx
I asked & 98% of you all said you wanted to see more food posts… So here is yesterday’s cheats chicken noodle soup.
It’s super simple & really you can use any ingredients you have in your fridge. (If vegetarian you could add in some chickpeas or lentils instead & use vegetable stock).
You will need one large pot.
500grams of organic chicken
Water or Stock
Bone broth powder or stock powder
Start by adding in some fresh chopped garlic & ginger (the more the better) to the pot & sauté with some olive oil. Next Sprinkle in a generous dash of turmeric powder & cool spice for a minute or so.
Now it’s time to add in the vegetables. I only had carrots; but zucchini, onion, celery, broccoli & cabbage al work well. Sauté until there is a bit of colour on the veggies & then add in 500g chicken. (You can use breast or thigh whatever you have; I prefer thigh as it is more tender but yesterday I only had breast).
Brown the meat on all sides & then fill the pot with water, a dash of apple cider vinegar & a squeeze of fresh lemon. Add in your chicken bone broth powder (or stock concentrate or homemade stock). I often make my own stock, however I love having this @nutra bone broth on hand for an easy meal. Add in any fresh herbs, I used parsley for this batch; but if your a coriander lover it works great too!
Bring to the boil, then turn down to simmer and cook for about 30-40 minutes (longer if using chicken thigh). Add in the pasta ( I love using risoni) & frozen peas & bring back to the boil for about ten minute until the pasta is cooked. You can also add in some canned chickpeas at this stage too for some extra protein.
Then you have it… One very easy, nourishing & healing soup for cold winter days & sick husbands. ✨ Emmy Xx
Raby Bay Enticer Triathlon complete. 🏊♀️🚲 🏃♀️ So proud that I actually did it. 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼#DialysisAthelete
200 swim / 5km bike / 2km run. Took me 33:55 to complete it… Which was nearly ten minutes faster than my goal time of 40 – 46 minutes! Not bad given it took me many attempts to actually get on my bike 🤣🤣🤣 (Hubby caught it all on camera so you too can laugh at me)! 🙈🤪😅
Thank you for all the love & support; especially to my hubby & children who woke up at 5am on a Sunday to cheer me on.
Kidney failure & dialysis do not define me. I refuse to sit around & be “sick”. And I refuse to wait around for the hospital to call with a kidney transplant. I only have one life & I am determined to live my best life every single day!
So what is next? Caloundra Triathlon in 8 weeks. Will I be brave & do the sprint distance? Might have to see how my training goes over the next couple of months. All of this working towards my main goals for 2020; the Bryon Bay Sprint Triathlon & the Gold Coast Half Marathon! Emmy Xx
Completing a triathlon has been a bucket list item for me… So proud that I actually did it. 💪🏼 🏊♀️ 🚲 🏃♀️ 300m swim / 8km bike / 3km run. Took me 1:00:51 to complete it… Not bad with my 5% kidney function 💪🏼 (Offical time).
Thank you to everyone for all the love & support; especially to my hubby & children who cheered me on the entire race! I’m not letting kidney failure define me. I’m not letting dialysis define me. And I’m not letting waiting for a kidney transplant get in the way of me achieving my goals.
Next enticer tri is on in two weeks at Raby Bay (It’s a slightly shorter distance than today but I think it’s an open water swim 🙈). It’s fair to say I’ve caught the tri bug… (Is that a thing?)
Bring it on! 🏊♀️ 🚲 🏃♀️
What an epic Sunday! Not only did I finish the @bridge2brisbane(running the entire way); I smashed it with a new PB!!
10km in 66mins 17 secs. 🤘🏻💪🏼
Honestly if you had told me I would be running 10km in 2019 I would never had believed you. Given last July I couldn’t even walk up my front stairs without stopping halfway to rest! Having kidney failure & starting dialysis last year has taught me so much about privilege, about gratitude & about strength. Moving my body is a privilege & something I am thankful for everyday.
I would say I’ve always been a “fighter” right from the moment I entered this world way back in 1985… But somewhere along the way I lost track of my inner warrior spirit & I sort of just floated through life. But I’m back! And I couldn’t be happier.
Set a goal today. Anything. Big. Small. But don’t wait for tomorrow to start it. Go for a walk. Run for one minute. It’s doesn’t matter what your goal is; just do it!
Special mention to my my amazing hubby for his constant support. And my two children; my inspiration for running today! And to my darling friend Nay Nay who ran the whole way with me just to show support. What a legend!
If I can run 10km with only 5% kidney function (whilst receiving dialysis treatments) imagine what you can do?
Completing the 10km run was incredibly symbolic for me. A reminder to myself that I am more than kidney failure, I am more than dialysis & I am more than a mum. I am strong. I am capable. It serves as a reminder of how far I’ve come, how strong I’ve gotten & how I can overcome challenging circumstances.
I’ve stopped “waiting” for life & I’ve stopped “waiting” for a kidney transplant. Each day is an opportunity to grow, show myself kindness & self love. Don’t forget to show yourself kindness. It’s such a game changer 🙏🏻 Emmy Xx
Officially one year as a dialysis patient. #ToughAF
I certainly didn’t look this glam in my hospital blues a year ago when I stepped off the machine after that very first session… But I also couldn’t walk up the front stairs without stopping halfway & nearly collapsing with exhaustion… So life is certainly on the improve! 🙏🏻
I’m so incredibly grateful for this past year & dialysis. Obviously I would prefer not to have to rely on a machine to keep my blood clean & toxin free; but it sure beats the alternative. I guess I’m grateful because being in kidney failure has taught me more about myself than I could have imagined. It has taught me that I am strong & determined & that I can achieve anything.
Today to celebrate being a kick ass kidney failure warrior, I stepped WAY out of my comfort zone & did a photo shoot (as a model💁🏼♀️) for @zarc_clothing’s new active wear range. I even did a HANDSTAND!! I don’t think I’ve done one of those since 2007… But I believed I could do it & I did it. It was so incredible to be with so many empowering & inspiring creative women. I’ve talked the talk of being brave & positive for the past year… And so today I walked the the walk.
I know in the scheme of things one year waiting for a kidney isn’t long; the reality is many people wait much longer but I am really ready now. Mentally, physically & emotionally. I’m ready!! And while I wait for that call; I’m going to enjoy not needing to take immunosuppressive drugs multiple times a day. I’m going to eat all the foods which I won’t be able to eat post transplant & I’m going to enjoy getting stronger & working out everyday! There is always a positive. Sometimes you just have to shift your perspective. I’m going to have a big glass of kombucha tonight to celebrate one year as a #dialysiswarrior. I’m ready to embrace everything, scars & all. ✨ Emmy
I’ve always had the mentally of when life knocks you down you get back up again. I don’t know if that’s because from the moment I arrived in this world I had to fight to be here. I had to fight for my life. I had to fight to be alive. I was born a fighter.
But these last few weeks I’ve got a bit over all of that. Over the fight. Having a chronic illness with no cure only treatments is a constant mental battle of falling down & building yourself back up. And I’ve fallen at the moment. I think it’s because I’m coming to up one year on dialysis next week. That’s over 100 times on the machine. If I being totally honestly with myself I thought I would have a kidney by now. All the doctors keep saying “oh yes your young, with your blood time it will be a short weight time”. Well I have to say it doesn’t feel like a short time. It feels like eternity.
I’ve stopped waiting for my phone to ring. I think I’m now at the point where I think it will never ring. I’m also at the point where I know I shouldn’t whinge as there are many people worse off than me. I’m still alive. I can still do so many things; just not the way I want to do them. Just not on my terms. And I get so cranky & brutally tired. That’s the hardest part; that I don’t get to be the mother I want to be. But again I get to be a mother. So I’m very grateful.
I think the greatest gift I will ever give my children is showing them that no matter what your circumstances, no matter what life throws in your way you can always build yourself back up.
And so. Rock by rock. Moment by moment..Day by day. I start to rebuild. Emmy Xx
Over the last few years I’ve been working really on healing myself. Not my whole self (my kidney failure isn’t reversible); but my “whole” self.
I started by increasing my therapy sessions. I spent time before I started dialysis doing lots of mental preparations. Learning how I could manage dialysis when the time came, the unknown of it all, the transplant, death… the works! I also started learning about mindfulness & treating myself with kindness. Hand on my heart kindness.
Then slowly I started being mindful with what I ate & started increasing my exercise. Growing up I associated exercise with either winning (highly competitive) or as a punishment to lose weight! I felt like I needed to be “skinny” to be liked. Now I exercise because I can. Because it is a privilege to exercise. I exercise because I want to be strong. I don’t care about “skinny” I just want strength! I want to be able to pick up my children without hurting my back & play in the back yard without running out of breath. You know the everyday things we take for granted when we are healthy. I also know what it is like to be laying in a hospital bed feeling like I was drowning in my own fluid & unable to breathe. That why when my alarm goes off in the morning & I’m physically able to get out of bed, you better believe I go work out!
I’m so proud of what I’ve achieved because I never imagined I could do it! I thought that I needed to wait until I had my transplant to feel strong. I’ve exceeded my own expectations & I’m stronger than I ever thought I would be. Ready to slay the day 🙏🏻 Emmy Xx
I’ve just started watching “The Cry”…
I’m only 19 minutes in & wow!
I never had any post natal depression or anxiety with my first. I really thought I had motherhood figured out. Oliver gave me a false sense of my own ability as mother.
Then I had a reflux baby.
This photo of Isla was taken the day we left hospital after weeks in the NICU. Before we knew what reflux was…
I think I’ve actually blocked out that period of time & the extreme sleep deprivation. But these first 19 minutes of “The Cry” have bought back a lot of memories.
I actually learnt to block out her screams because they were so constant; sometimes she screamed more than she slept.
I remember once mowing the lawn in an attempt to silence her screams. I remember once losing it in the middle of the night & going to sleep in the car with a pillow over my head. I remember once screaming “shut up, just shut up” to a newborn. I remember thinking is this punishment for my first baby being “good?” I remember Isla falling asleep in my bed & waking up worried I had squashed her. Or worse waking up thinking she next to me & she was gone. Either I had put her back in her bassinet or Greg had.
At the time I didn’t recognise that I cried daily (often along with Isla), or that I blocked out her screams or that a baby who screams ALL day isn’t normal.
I remember trying to put a screaming, jerking baby in the carrier & at the same time take my 20 month old to swimming lessons. The looks of sympathy / pity from other mothers still etched in my mind.
I remember once being out for a coffee when Isla was three months old & she didn’t cry. I remember thinking ahhh this is what it is like? Even though I had that with Oliver I had forgotten what a non screaming baby is like.
It took me eight months before I went & asked for professional help to deal with my emotions. Eight months of saying “I’m fine” & not realising that actually I wasn’t fine. And it’s taken years of therapy to realise that everything I felt, ALL the feelings are 100% okay.
Motherhood is such a joyous & intense time, it opens you up & exposes your all of your vulnerabilities. It’s the greatest of highs & the lowest of lows. And I’m so grateful for those times because they taught me tolerance, patience & how to give unconditionally love.