Hungry Heart

Adventures in healthy living

Smells Like Fall


This week it really started to feel like fall.
The trees in my neighborhood and the hill behind my house have finally turned bright red and orange.
The street in front of the train station is covered in tiny yellow leaves that swirl in the air when cars drive by.
It gets dark around 6:30.
It even smells like fall, crisp and cool.
I have also taken to eating between 2-4 apples per day.
Nothing smells more like fall than apples!

Including apple crisp.

Mom’s Apple Crisp

  • 5-6 apples
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg (optional*)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (optional)

Slice apples and put into 9×13 baking dish.
Mix sugar, flour, nutmeg, salt and oats (if using).
Add butter and cut in with a fork, knife, or pastry cutter.
Basically, smash the butter into the dry ingredients until you have pea sized pieces of butter.
Pour topping over apples and bake at 350 for 50 minutes.
*I don’t use the nutmeg, because my mom never did either. Sometimes I substitute cinnamon for it instead.

I also added a couple of Bosc pears, because I had them on hand.

As if that didn’t make the house smell like fall enough, I also made Potato Leek Soup.
One of Jerry’s favorites.

Simple Potato Leek Soup

  • 2 large leeks (about 1 lb), chopped and rinsed
  • 3 small russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Tbls olive oil
  • 1 Tbls butter
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock, or water
  • 2 Tbls grated parmesan cheese

Add oil and butter to a soup pot, and turn to Med-Med/Low.
Chop your leeks and toss them is a large bowl of cold water. Leeks are notoriously dirty, so swish them around for a few minutes. The dirt should fall to the bottom of the bowl and the leeks should float.
Add leeks, salt and pepper to soup pot and saute until soft. This should take about 20 minutes.

Add chopped potatoes to the leeks.

Add your stock or water, cover, and let simmer until the potatoes are tender.
Jerry and I snacked on the apple crisp while we waited.

Once the potatoes were soft I used an immersion blender to make the soup smooth. You could also carefully transfer the hot soup to a food processor or blender.
Once smooth, stir in the cheese.

Garnished with chives


Many Potato Leek soup recipes call for cream. I do not find that it is necessary.
The tablespoon of butter and touch of cheese make this feel rich, while saving you lots of calories.

I did add 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt to my bowl, to make it creamy and tangy. It also adds about 6 grams of protein per bowl.

I would recommend adding 1/2-1 cup of Greek yogurt after you puree the soup and it is off the heat.

I’ve made this soup many times, so I have a few tips:

  1. I use unsalted stock. If your stock has a lot of sodium, add 1/4 tsp salt and then see if it needs more at the end.
  2. If you are not using cream, only use enough stock/water to cover the potatoes. If there is a lot of liquid, your soup won’t be as creamy.
  3. I didn’t weigh my leeks or potatoes, but I would estimate that I had 4 cups of chopped leeks, and just shy of 3 cups of chopped potatoes.
  4. Yummy additions to the soup include chopped bacon, cream or buttermilk, and Jerry’s favorite; diced kielbasa. 

Happy Fall Cooking!


  1. Why don’t you use nutmeg? It’s one of my favorite spices!

    Your potato leek soup looks awesome. I have done the hot soup to blender thing before and I never will again, it is such a pain! I have been borrowing my mother in law’s immersion blender whenever making a soup, but that means no spontaneous soup so I think I will be asking for one for Christmas.

  2. Agree on no need for cream, it is super rich tasting as is. I made almost same but subbed roasted butternut squash for potatoes an is yummy and pretty looking!
    Fall-ok Winter- not so much!

  3. Ridic: Nutmeg is growing on me. My Mom used to hate it so she always left it out. I will try it with the nutmeg next time. An immersion blender is an excellent Christmas gift!

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