Leek + potato soup

With autumn (my favourite of favourite seasons*) comes soup and stew season. So far I’ve already made a spicy sausage + bean stew and (my best yet) beef stew. Tonight is leek + potato soup because I’m on my own for the rest of the week and I happened to have all the stuff on hand.


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 med onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 small (or 2 lg) potatoes, rough dice (unpeeled)
  • 3 med leeks, white parts only, sliced + washed super well
  • 3-4 c low sodium chicken stock
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste


  1. Melt butter in a med stock pot over medium heat + toss in the celery and onion. Saute for a few minutes. Add sliced up leeks and saute for a few more minutes, stirring well. Add pepper + potatoes, stir.
  2. Add chicken stock and bring to a low boil, then turn down to med-low and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through (30 mins or so, it’s not a precise science here…they just need to be soft).
  3. Salt to taste if needed and either leave all chunky or blend with a stick blender until it’s at the chunky level you prefer. Yum.
  4. Optional: add 1/4-1/2 c of cream or milk if you want, but it’s really not necessary.

That’s it!

* Seasons, in order of perference: autumn, early summer, early winter, spring, late summer, late winter. February is right out.

Articles about focus, motivation, and feedback

The Key to Effectiveness? Focus (Harvard Business blogs)

“One of the tough truths of management is that we all have trouble making choices. While older and supposedly wiser, we still often act like kids in the candy store who want everything. Some of the best CEOs and managers are those who stop things and get their companies or their teams focused. GE’s Chief Learning Officer, Susan Peters, notes that for successful managers at GE ‘prioritization and focus are keys to doing well. Sure there are other things that are not on the priority list, but you do them differently or more slowly.'”

Motivation – you’re doing it wrong (TEDTalk)

Dan Pink’s TED Talk about the science of motivation, and how there is a mismatch between what science knows and what businesses often do to motivate people. “Dan’s point is that rewarding performance mostly doesn’t work and often leads to worse performance.” The interesting part really starts around the 12:00m mark, where he stops talking about how rewards don’t work and starts talking about what does — autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

How to Escape Perfectionism (Harvard Business blogs)

“Critical feedback is helpful as long as it’s offered with care and support. But the feedback that comes from jealousy or insecurity or arrogance or without any real knowledge of you? Ignore it. And if you’re a manager, your first duty is to do no harm. As managers, we’re often the ones who stand in judgment of other people and their work. And when we’re too hard on someone or watch too closely or correct too often or focus on the mistakes more than the successes, then we sap their confidence. And without confidence, no one can achieve much.”