Meet my friend Terry Whetham. This is the man that owns the stand next to ours at market. He is a meat vendor and owner of Quilceda Farms. He has cruelty free goat and veal products and eggs to sell. This week I traded for both eggs and some of his veal Italian Sausage. Normally I am completely opposed to veal... but in Terry's case it means 'young cow' and does not mean 'stuck in a box for it's entire life'. Terry's 'veal' cows hang out on grassy pastures and get their ears scratched by caring owners occasionally. They have a comfortable life.
It seems I have been having the 'animal product cruelty' conversation with my children a lot lately. My daughter especially is very invested in the animals we get our products from to have a good life. She has been asking; "Mama, do these eggs come from happy chickens? Like chickens that get to eat bugs? Chickens that have a happy life?" Just the fact that my 8 year old knows the questions to ask makes my heart sing. I am not a vegetarian. I was for the first 23 years of my life. But after a couple of scary health issues relating to iron deprivation, I decided to adjust my view. I may change back, I may not... but this food evolution has turned into a cruelty free obsession. One that I am happy to say is obviously rubbing off on the next generation.
Leek and Potato Soup with Italian Sausage
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs olive oil
2 leeks (sliced into 1/2 inch rounds)
2 teaspoons Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute or a mixed herb mix like Mrs Dash
1 lb mild Italian Sausage
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups milk
1 lb baby potatoes (I used Ozettes) cut into quarters
salt and pepper to taste
fresh chives for a tasty garnish
Parboil the potatoes. Slice the Italian Sausage into rounds and fry until cooked through.
Saute the leeks in the butter and oil until tender (about 5 minutes). Add in the seasoning. When potatoes are fork tender, drain and add in the milk and stock. Turn to med heat and add leeks. Cook for 7 - 10 minutes while stirring frequently... try not to boil the soup. When the soup is very hot, add in Italian Sausage and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fresh crusty bread.