When the weather turns soggy, I start to practice my winter sport of “being in the kitchen”. From caramelizing and chopping to baking to broiling, when the weather turns to mush I turn to the kitchen. …and a glass of wine, but that’s a year round sport!
This year I’ve really tried to focus on cooking “in season” and challenging myself to prepare my “typical” foods in a different way. While leek’s are not something that we traditionally have on hand in our house, they made the headliner in today recipes. To be honest, the lack of consistent main stage placement in our cabinet is purely due to the fact that I only know two ways to cook them; sautéed or made into leek soup. While they are can be found year round, they are in season November to February and are more readily available.
The more I looked into the nutrition characteristics of leeks, the more I realized that I wasn’t the only one who usually passed up these shallot and garlic relatives in the grocery aisles; many people shy away from these cardio enriching veggies because they don’t know how to cook or prepare them. Leeks are high in folate, which is a key B complex vitamin for supporting and balancing our cardiovascular system (source) as well as being very high in potassium and very low in sodium, giving it naturally diuretic properties (source). Sharing the same family as garlic and onions, they boast immune, antioxidant, and heart-healthy benefits.
Enjoyed in in salads with vinaigrette, in soups, sautés, risottos, sauces, pastas, frittatas, creamed, carmelized, Bruschettaed… there are SO many ways to prepare leeks it will blow your mind! Check out this Leek Pinterest Board for more inspiration!
When shopping for leeks, look for ones that are firm and straight, with dark leaves and white bodies. Quality leeks should not be yellowing, wilting or cracking. To store, keep them unwashed and untrimmed,wrapped in a paper towel inside a plastic bag in the fridge up to a week. Cooked leaks should be kept for no more than two days, but you can freeze them up to three months once they’re blanched for three minutes and stored in an airtight bag.
I have to warn you, you’ll need a spoon readily accessible once this soup is cooked, is so good you’ll be eating it out of the pot!
Vegan Potato Leek Soup
Adapted from recipe posted on Care2.com Serves 4 – 6
1 tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
3 large leeks, whites and greens, washed and sliced
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
½ tsp fresh cracked sea salt
3 cloves garlic, or 1 ½ tsp minced garlic
2 large white potatoes, washed and cubed
5 cups chicken stock (use vegetable stock if you’re making entirely vegan)
½ tsp crushed rosemary
- Wash all veggies
- Heat EVOO in stock pan with the chopped leeks, onion, garlic and sea salt, sauté stirring often until the onions begins to turn translucent
- Add the potatoes and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes
- Meanwhile, get your blender out and prepared to blend up the soup
- Once cooked, remove the soup from the heat and ladle into your blender, 1 cup at a time (if you have an immersion/stick blender you can blend the soup right in the pot)
- Blend the soup until smooth and free of chunks
- Pour smooth soup into a heat-proof bowl and continue until all of the soup has been blended
- Transfer the blended soup back to the original soup pot and warm over low heat until heated through
- Serve hot