One Pot Potato Leek Soup {Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free}

IMG_0204It’s officially soup weather. The sweaters, boots and umbrella have been pulled out and are here to stay. The rain is here and it’s cozy time. Browsing in the market on Saturday, I was drawn to the gorgeous  leeks piled high in one of the bins at our local Whole Foods market. They were brilliantly colored, as big around as a hearty farm grown carrot and on sale. Check, check, check. There are two things I like to do with leeks; make a potato soup with them or sauté and eat them with olive oil and lemon for a snack. You can make soup with the stock sand sauté the leaves if you wish to have the best of both worlds. Sautéing leeks to eat as a snack would have NEVER crossed my mind, but I read it in a book I quite enjoy and have tried it a few times since. The book is something I picked up at a half-price book store a few years ago and find myself reading each year. It’s called “French Women Don’t Get Fat” by Mireille Guiliano. Now, let me pause here and say that I am not encouraging dieting behavior. The I love her healthy, holistic approach.

IMG_0205The focus of the book is teaching us how to eat for pleasure and nutrition versus eating, or not eating, as a diet choice.  She discourages dieting and is a fabulous writer. I agree with her encouragement for people  to view the relationships between food, weight and health within an over focus on a healthy happy lifestyle.  Okay, back to sautéed leeks. I had the best intention of using two boxes of chicken stock that I received from an amazing food conference I just attended (IFBC!). We’re really aware of how much salt goes into our food and opt for low salt whatever we can (broth, soy-sauce, chips, mixed nuts, etc). I have to give the disclaimer that I’m a broth snob. I love broth and have been known to make up a pot of broth in the winters to supplement my massive tea intake. My mother makes amazing soups and has always set the bar high. I’ve never found a boxed or canned broth that I find remotely decent. I’ve always used the same stock my mum uses the brand Better Than Bouillon and I always make sure to get the reduced sodium base. You’ll always find the chicken and beef base in my fridge but they have ham, turkey, lobster, mushroom, the list goes on! One caveat, not all of their flavors come in reduced sodium but the chicken and beef ones do and Costco carries them so I’m a happy camper! So, I grabbed a few leeks, potatoes and onions and was off to make the first soup of the season.

IMG_0201As I mentioned before, we go low salt so at first when I tasted this soup it really felt like it was missing an ingredient. After calling my mother the soup master (Just missed her, she had already gone to bed!) and googling what flavor should hit the center of your tongue, which was right where the soup was missing some seasoning flavor, the mister and I decided that it was salt. Simple salt. I took out a few spoonfuls of the soup and cracked some fresh pink salt on top and low and behold…that soup was PERFECT!

The fun part about this soup is that you can completely change the flavor of the soup with a few very simple cooking variations! Throw in a few carrots, or add some turnips with the potatoes. Not big on thyme myself, but you could add a tablespoon or two of dried thyme or 1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme and/or if you like dill, which I don’t, you can include ½ tsp dried dill, or 1 tsp chopped fresh dill. You can cook with truffle oil or use truffle salt, or any other amazingly flavored salt you have stumbled upon. You could cook bacon in the pan first and wipe half the oil out, and use the remaining half of bacon grease to cook up the veggies and potatoes.

How do you like your potato leek soup? Leave a comment!!

One Pot Potato Leek Soup {Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free} 

1 Tbsp rice bran oil
1 medium yellow onion
3 large leeks, without the leaves, sliced into rounds
4 medium russet potatoes, washed and chopped and loosely diced
pinch grey or pink salt
fresh cracked black pepper, and more to taste
chopped fresh or dried parsley
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp Better than Bouillon Reduced Sodium Chicken base + 7 cups hot water

Pull out your stock pot. Heat the rice bran oil over medium heat. Chop your onions and add them to the pot, stirring occasionally. To prep your leeks, wash the stocks and cut off the leaves right where the light green turns dark green and the leaves start. Cut off the roots.

Set the leaves aside (unless you want to wash them and include them which you totally can). Slice the stock in half, and cut 1/2 inch half moons until the stocks are all chopped. I do this so it’s easier to separate the leeks when I drop them into the pot.

Stir whatever you have in the pot a few times with each ingredient addition. Add the leeks to the pot and cover.

Cut your potatoes and add them to the pot to sauté for about 5-7 minutes. I cut my potatoes like I would for a breakfast hash: cut the potato in half, then half again and loosely dice.


Once you’ve sautéed the leeks, onions and potatoes for a bit, add a pinch of salt, pepper, chopped fresh or dried parsley and 2 bay leaves. I always add bay leaves to my soup and broths because my mother does and she makes the most amazing soups! Just remember to pull both of them out before blending or serving!

While this is sautéing heat up your tea pot to mix the bouillon base.  I always mix the broth in a glass pyrex because just when you think it’s all dissolved into the water and pour it into your soup pot,  you’ll see the huge chunk of bouillon that was hiding at the bottom plop into the pot! Not amazing. Mix the bouillon in your pyrex, assuring it’s dissolved, then add it to the pot and bring to a boil.

Let the soup boil for a few minutes then reduce to low heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes. Check the soup to assure that the potatoes are cooked through and turn off the heat. Go fishing for your two bay leaves and pull those guys out. If you have a stainless steel immersion blender, which I don’t, puree of the soup in the pot until you reach the desired level of smoothness. If, like me you don’t own a fantastic immersion blender, pardon me while I add that to my amazon which list which is 90% cooking tools and cook books! I use my trusty vita mix and blend it in batches.

Taste the soup as you blend it because this is your chance to add more herbs and spices since you’re blending the heck out of it and the flavors will be sure to mix well.

Garnish with whatever your heart desires:
cracked pepper
fresh chopped parsley
pumpkin seeds (roasted pumpkin seeds recipe) and sub paprika for the salt
shaved marinated carrots
chopped green onions
sour cream
chopped bacon
fried onions
a drizzle of some truffle oil
… your options are endless!

Potato, Carrot Leek Soup (Dairy Free, Soy Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan)

photo 1It has officially gotten cold in Seattle. Not “girl” cold where it’s 50 degrees and my tosies get a little chilly. I’m talking Midwest, you can see your breath, chill hits to your bones cold. We’ve had low 30’s for about a week now and even my poor parsley I forgot on the patio was frozen to the bone! With cold like this, a big bowl of warm homemade soup is just the ticket to help you thaw out! After being used to cooking an ENTIRE Thanksgiving feast, four pies seemed like a walk in the park! I opted for the my go-to holiday hits and baked four fresh crusts from scratch  for pumpkin pies and two pecan pies. Of course, I home-roasted the pumpkins using my recipe HERE.
we would up with all of the veggies that I had drug up my parents house with the best intentions of cooking up for my family. What do you do with bunches of leeks and a massive yellow onion?

Well, you buy potatoes and carrots and make soup of course! I wrote this recipe from looking at a few different ones, and deciding that I didn’t want dairy OR soy in my soup…and using this a little as a kitchen soup recipe to clean out the fridge. The recipe  is sweet because it’s relatively low maintenance and you can make it in your VitaMix or if you have a food processor. Super simple, SUPER delicious, and super healthy! No diary, no soy, gluten-free, and  can be made vegan if you substitute out the chicken bullion.

photo 3Potato, Carrot Leek Soup (Dairy Free, Soy Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan)
prep time: 10 min | cook time: 1 hr
5 leeks
2 ½ tsp minced garlic (or 5 fresh cloves)
5 stalks celery + the center lighter part with the leaves
dried Parsley (or fresh!)
5  medium russet potatoes
2-3 large carrots
½ large yellow onion
2 tbsp chicken bullion ( I swear by Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Base, Reduced Sodium)
8 cups water
1 tsp ground rosemary
1 tsp fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
fresh sea salt and pepper

Pre-heat oven to 400.

photo 2photo 1 copyWash, peel and chop all vegetables. To clean the leeks, cut just above the roots and just below where the dark green leaves start to branch off. Wash the body of the leek and peel the outside layer off. Cut into disks. For the dark leaves, cut the tips off and be sure you have washed them well. Then slice and set aside. For the potatoes, I usually cut the potato in half, then half again and cut into chunks.

Misto spray a cookie sheet then place carrots, potatoes and onion on cookie sheet. Dust with fresh cracked pepper and dried parsley (unless you have the fresh stuff- in that case add when you puree the soup).  Cook 40 minutes or until potatoes are soft in the center. Turn veggies once or twice so that all surfaces get browned.

While those veggies are in the oven, get out a large pan and sauté the garlic. Add the leeks, separating the layers of the disks, and the celery. Then add a little fresh cracked pepper and some salt. Sauté until all the veggies are cooked. As I turn the leeks and celery in the pan, I’ll do a light olive oil Misto spray just so everything gets a little charred in the pan and I’ll also coat with pepper. Also, any of the leek that is still held together in the little disk, separate the different layers as you cook.  I never measure pepper and I like the flavor so I usually just cook by sight and will add until I feel like it’s seasoned.

To make the broth, bring the water in a 10-cup stockpot then stir in the chicken bullion. Add the rosemary, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Once all veggies are cooked and the broth has simmered, remove the bay leaf and get your vita mix ready. Place 1/3 of each of the ingredients in the blender and blend on medium until thoroughly puréed.  Once puréed, place back in the stockpot and repeat until all of the ingredients are puréed. Simmer soup for 10-15 minutes and serve.

Can be frozen up to 4 months in a freezer Ziplocs bag or Tupperware. .

Potato Leek Soup (Vegan)

photo 2When 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!

photo 1Vegan Potato Leek Soup
Adapted from recipe posted on 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

  1. Wash all veggies
  2. Heat EVOO in stock pan with the chopped leeks, onion, garlic and sea salt, sauté  stirring often until the onions begins to turn translucent
  3. Add the potatoes and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, get your blender out and prepared to blend up the soup
  5. 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)
  6. Blend the soup  until smooth and free of chunks
  7. Pour smooth soup into a heat-proof bowl and continue until all of the soup has been blended
  8. Transfer the blended soup back to the original soup pot and warm over low heat until heated through
  9. Serve hot

Simple Winter Soup- Butternut Squash, Yam, Carrot & Garlic

Photo from: “inspiring the everyday” post on butternut squash soup

Somehow the winter season always ages my hobbies by about ten years; knitting, roasting whole pumpkins, baking, canning and the strong desire to bake and make breads and pastas, winter meals, soups, stews… wanting to make everything really. I will admit I recently pins a recipe for homemade Wheat thins! (Stay tuned to see how THAT one goes!)

While chatting last night with my impossibly adorable new hairstylist who is also a foodie, she shared with me a new recipe! Cue ridiculous joy and excitement! We proceed to chat the entire time about her recently discovered hobby of making homemade pasta from scratch (a checkbox on my cooking bucket list), reviewing all of our favorite local restaurants and expounding on 15 uses for sage (It truly is an under appreciated herb)!



Cooking doesn’t have to be hard, we both agreed, you just have to have the ingredients in your pantry and a couple of minutes to make it.

So, along with the recently added item “weather proof boots” on my winter weekend to do list, “roast” to appease the pumpkin on my counter, and “meal plan” to attempt an attack plan to actually COOK all of my recently pinned winter dishes, I shall also be making this soup!

I’ll post my own pictures once I cook it up but for now, enjoy a lovely picture from inspiring the everyday’s post on butternut squash soup.
So, stock up on winter goodness, snuggle into your favorite sweater, pour a glass of wine and and let the winter begin!!

What are your warming winter foods or your go to winter dishes?
Winter Warming Squash Soup

1 butternut squash
carrots, yams and fresh garlic (ratio to your preference)
1 large onion to caramelize
chicken stock/broth


  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 or 450 (depends on how quickly you want the veggies and how your oven  heats) and proceed with prepping the butternut squash as you prefer. Note: There are two methods for butternut squash you can either peel it and bake it or slice in half rub with olive oil and bake.
  • Slice the carrots and yams, and chop off the top of your garlic. (I just posted a recipe here on home-roasting your own garlic. You can roast and keep fresh for up to a week, frozen for a few months. It’s GREAT to have on hand for winter meals!)
  • Roast all veggies and garlic in pre-heated oven until golden brown.
  • In the meantime, sauté your onions.
  • Once the squash, veggies and garlic are roasted to your preferred “done-ness”, remove from the oven and blend/ puree in a food processer with some warmed chicken broth and serve warm.


Curry Coconut Turkey Veggie Soup

Curry Coconut Turkey Veggie Soup
Can’t WAIT to make this one! Got this recipe from the BFF and she’s an incredible cook! Once I make it I’ll upload a pic!


  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • EVOO
  • 1lb Ground Turkey
  • Salt
  • Curry/cumin (to taste)
  • 2 qts Chix broth
  • 5tbsp Thai yellow curry sauce from TJ
  • Zucchini/mushrooms
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • Little more salt and some cayenne
  • 1/2-3/4 c fresh chopped cilantro


  • Sauté onions, carrots and celery in EVOO until the carrots barely become soft
  • Add the turkey and brown in the same pot seasoning with salt, curry and cumin to taste
  • Add chicken broth the ingredients already in the pot
  • Add 5tbsp Yellow curry sauce from Trader Joes , chopped zucchini and mushrooms and 1/2 can of coconut milk with salt and cayenne to taste and simmer until veggies are cooked
  • Just before serving, mix in 1/2-3/4 c fresh chopped cilantro and let simmer for a few minutes

Soup Season: Cauliflower Garlic Soup

It’s confirmed…Summer is on it’s last leg. The weather has turned, Pumpkin Spice lattes are back at Starbuck’s and I wore a sweater to work.  Here in Seattle we didn’t get very many sunny days but as life is rarely fair so here fall is in all it’s glory and so is my yearning for warm cozy comfort meals. That meal that will just warm the chill in the air right out of you and leave you cozied up to your favorite book enjoying the rain falling. Okay okay, so it’s not THAT cold yet in Seattle but I feel winter coming and tonight I wanted a comfort soup! I didn’t have the energy to cook up a feast so I went with my go-to Cauliflower Garlic soup.  Cauliflower is notoriously low in fat, but high high in dietary fiber and vitamin C and when mixed with garlic provides a host of anti-inflammatory agents as well as a tasty simple meal.

Cauliflower Garlic Soup

1 head cauliflower
minced garlic to taste, (I use about a spoonful)
cracked pepper, dried parsley and fresh ground salt to taste

  • cut up the cauliflower and microwave with about 1/3 cup water for 8-10 minutes
  • set out your blender (I swear by my vitamix) and add the garlic and herbs to taste
  • once the cauliflower is done steaming pour the veggies and the water into the blender and cover, mixing on medium/high until all ingredients are blended
  • add more water if needed to texture/consistency mixing
  • garnish with cracked pepper and enjoy
From time to time I add other ingredients like pulled chicken, or grilled onions, substitute the water for soy milk or butternut squash soup, or I add other spices I happen to be in the mood for. Please post with YOUR ideas!