I made this soup when it was 50 degrees out two days ago, it was really good then but would probably have been better today with the snow coming down, making Boston a winter wonderland. Because we’ve only had snow a few times this winter it’s still really fun for me to experience. I love those first couple hours when it’s all white fluff that coats the trees and lightly swirls around you making it seem like you’re in a movie. Tomorrow I’ll be annoyed by the remnants of salt and gray slushy piles of old snow on the sidewalk. But I’m practicing staying in the present so today, hooray for snow!
Snow covered trees outside Crossfit after this morning’s yoga class. I’m teaching another one tomorrow morning at 6:45am, you should get up with me. 🙂
Downtown Boston in the snow.
Anyway, back to soup.
When we went shopping last weekend I bought two leeks. We also bought a ton of other veggies at the time and the leeks were pushed to the bottom of the crisper. As we made our way through the kale and carrots I spotted the leeks and knew just what to use them for. Soup of course. Potato leek soup to be exact.
I love soup for its ease and simplicity. You just dump a bunch of vegetables in a pot for an hour and call it dinner. Who wouldn’t want to cook like that?
Potato Leek Soup (vegan, gluten-free)
2 tablespoons earth balance or whichever butter you prefer
1 tbsp canola oil
1/4 onion, diced
3 stalks celery with leaves, diced
2 leaks, white and pale green parts only, chopped
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
8 new potatoes, cut into dice sized cubes
1 russet potato, cut into dice sized cubes
8 cups vegetable broth
2 broccoli stalks, whole (optional)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 bay leaf
1.5 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
Cut white and light green part of leeks into 1/2 inch pieces.
Discard the green tops. Put leek pieces into a bowl of cold water.
Leeks can be very sandy. Make sure to let them soak for a few minutes. The sand will fall to the bottom of the bowl and you can then drain the clean leeks.
Chop onion and celery.
Heat oil and butter. Add leeks, onion and celery. Saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic and red chili flakes. Cook another minute.
While veggies are sauteing, chop potatoes. Add potatoes to leek/onion mixture.
Next add veggie broth. One note on veggie broth. I strongly suggested buying vegetarian bouillon cubes. They are much cheaper than veggie stock. I use one cube per 4 cups of water (the package says 1 cube per 2 cups but it always works out well for me with the extra water).
Add broccoli stalks to broth. I happen to have stalks lying around waiting to be juiced and I thought they’d add a nice flavor to the broth, which they did. Feel free to omit. If you do use them, remove before serving, but feel free to snack on them while getting the rest of dinner together.
Add nutmeg, bay leaf, salt and rosemary. Bring soup up to a boil then reduce to a simmer. I didn’t chop my rosemary as fine as I wish I did, as seen below. Make sure it’s finely minced, I found the bigger pieces to be a little annoying.
I let the soup simmer for about an hour then turned off the heat and covered the pot. I reheated the soup a couple of hours later when we were ready for dinner.
Served with toast and earth balance.
I thought about blending this but according to Michael there is something heartier and more filling about the chunks of potato and leek.
Perfect for today’s snow-filled day.
Enjoy and Exhale!