Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Leek and Potato Soup!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Leek and Potato Soup!

After last week's delicata squash soup, and my first (and very pleasant) experience using leeks in soup, Leek and Potato Soup was mentioned a couple of times in the comment section of that soup post. Now, I had never had leek and potato soup, but with everyone raving about it, I decided that would be the "soup of the week" for last weekend (I am a little behind on posts). As you can see from last week's Local Booty Update, we had all the necessary ingredients, so last Sunday, I concocted a tasty Leek and Potato Soup. I must agree, so far, out of all the soups I've tried, this is the best one. And it is so simple too!

My only complaint was that it turned out a little thicker than we like our soup, so next time, I will add more liquid. With the weather cooling down here in Mid-Missouri again, I am really looking forward to soup, salad, and bread night this weekend; I have another soup idea in the works!

The local booty legend:
no asterisk = grocery store
+ = The Root Cellar
* = farmer's market
** = CSA
*** = Container or Community Garden
**** = the non-profit buying club, Blue Planet or Purcell Mountain Farms

Leek and Potato Soup
4 medium new potatoes (or other yellow potatoes), peeled and cubed *
3 large leeks, sliced (white and light green parts) *
4 cloves of garlic, peeled *
1 tbsp Earth Balance
1 veggie bouillon cube
4 cups of water
1 cup of plain hempmilk

In a medium pot, melt Earth Balance over medium heat. Add leeks and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.

Add the potatoes, veggie bouillon, and water. Cook for 30-35 minutes or until potatoes are very soft.

Allow mixture to cool a little bit.

Transfer to a food processor and blend until very smooth. Add hempmilk and blend again.

Return to the pot on the stove and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Enjoy with a loaf of crusty (preferably local) bread!

Yummy, yummy, yummy!

Well, I have some baking and indoor gardening adventures in the works for this weekend, so I am pretty stoked that it is Friday. I'll be back tomorrow with the weekly local booty update, sadly, I also believe that tomorrow is the last weekend of the local farmer's market for the season. :-( However, The Root Cellar is overloaded with local produce and will be for at least a month or so. Then, there will be some staples, so we'll see how well we meet our goals for local eating this winter.

Happy Friday everyone!

'Til next time.


Heather @ SGF said...

Jennifer - got a question for you. I noticed you used hempmilk. Was that something you had to get used to? I'm attempting veganism and so I'm off our local cow's milk. The only thing I've found that I can stand so far is sweetened vanilla soy milk. I've tried plain and unsweetened vanilla and blah. I've not tried rice, almond or hemp milk. Is this something you had to get used to? Acquired taste? Anything you liked right off the bat?

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Heather - Congrats on your attempts at veganism! I am not a vegan, rather, I guess, an "ovo-vegetarian", I will occasionally eat eggs and honey, but I do not eat meat, any dairy products, or any other animal products.

About the non-dairy milks. I have never been able to get myself to like soymilk - any of the varieties. There is just a "cardboard-like" taste to it I cannot get over. Ricemilk has a far better flavor (though sweeter than soymilk, even the plain variety), but is thinner. It did take me a little while to get used to it. Almond and hempmilk are my favorite. Hempmilk I liked off the bat, and the consistency is similar to real milk - it is thicker than a lot of the other varieties. Almond milk is very good too - I love drinking chocolate almond milk - but it does add a "nutty quality" to any dish made with it. So I guess to make a long story short, I prefer hempmilk and liked it off the bat. I like the plain, I like the vanilla flavor, and I like the chocolate. It doesn't, of course, taste like cow's milk, but it is very good in it's own right. Now, we use Living Harvest Hempmilk, I understand there are a few varieties and I have not heard good reviews about some of the others. I hope this helps!

Heather @ SGF said...

Thanks! This is a big help. I'm going to give almond milk and hempmilk a try.

I don't know how strict I'll be with veganism. I'll probably allow myself an exception every once in awhile (someone's birthday cake at a party or eating at someone's house where I don't want to make a fuss), but I'm trying for the most part to stick to it as much as possible. I've had a few blips in the last 2 weeks I've been trying this, but for the most part, eating vegan at home has been easy for me. That left-over mac-n-cheese has been a little tempting, but other than the day I made it, I've been able to resist :)

Hopefully this will make a big difference in my cholesterol. Got my fingers crossed.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Heather - Glad I could be of service. If you have any other questions in this journey - don't hesitate to ask me. You can even email me privately if you want (my email address is on my profile). I know it can be a little difficult for people at first.

It's all about why you are making the change. If you are doing it for health reason, it makes sense to do so much as is necessary to achieve the results you hope to achieve. I think this is a good thing to try for you to lower your cholesterol. I eat the way I do for mostly environmental reasons, so eating eggs and honey make more sense to me than using faux products or agave nectar from far away. But for your reasoning, I think eggs are probably another thing to stay away from, and there are all sorts of alternatives out there for that as well.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed as well. Keep us informed on your progress!

spelled with a K said...

I froze about 6 quarts of this favorite. Mine was made without any kind of milk or "milk" but yours definitely looks creamier. Does it have the same think consistency that it appears to have in the picture?

Heather @ SGF said...

I suppose it's a little of both - environmental and health. I went veggie for environmental reason (although I have to admit, I don't really like the taste of meat anyway) and am trying veganism for my health. I'm still eating honey (an ingredient in my homemade bread), but am trying to go without eggs, milk, and (the hardest for me) cheese.

You're right. It really does bother me that the "milk" is no longer local and also I can't recycle the container. I don't drink much of it. Just a little on my cereal (puffed kamut) every once in awhile. In the end, I may end up just forgoing the cereal and milk and eating my homemade toast and jam for breakfast. I'm definitely learning as I'm going.

SusanB said...

Jennifer -- pumpkin leek soup has become a big favorite in our household. Same basic idea, just add pumpkin (2-3 C) with the leeks and cut back on the potato a little bit, I use 3 med. potatoes/6 C. broth/liquid. I make my own broth in quantity so that's what I use, but bouillon would work fine. Traditionally this soup is made without any dairy or dairy substitute. If you'd like a real recipe, let me know.

Chandelle said...

Potato-leek soup is one of my absolute favorites. I use plain soy yogurt in place of any milks for extra creaminess. The sour flavor of the yogurt really adds something special to the soup. Yum yum!

Daphne said...

I'm glad you tried the leek and potato soup. It is so easy and so yummy.

I guess I must be weird. I love plain soy milk. I'm not even vegan (or vegetarian), but unless my son is home from college, I just don't buy real milk anymore. Cream rarely, but never milk.

Theresa said...

Hey! I just made Leek and Potato soup last weekend! My recipe is similar although I still use milk, and I left out the garlic but added some nutmeg. It's such a cozy, hearty soup :)

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Spelled with a K - I wish I had made enough to freeze! I thought about making it sans "milk" but the bulk of the recipes I found online called for cream, so I thought a little "milk" would add to the flavor in a good way.

Yes, it was really thick. We generally actually like our soup a little thinner than it was this time, but we were hungry and it was super tasty.

Heather - It's the same way for me too, it's mostly environmental, but health and animal welfare do also play a part in it. I was never a huge fan of meat either. When a recipe would call for, say, 1 pound of meat, we would put 1/4 of a pound in.

Cheese seems to be what is hardest for most people. I admit, I used to really like cheese too, but I was also constantly stuffy. When I found out that I was mildly allergic to dairy and that it was the source of my permanent stuffiness, I gave the stuff up! It's been nice breathing clearly for the past few years.

It does me too. I am trying to think of ways I could reuse the containers, but my best plan so far is to just not buy it too often. Brett still consumes dairy so he gets local, organic milk for himself. It makes it pretty easy.

It is a learning experience. You will likely find that you open up to foods that you previously did not like too. Like I said before, if you ever have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me!

Susan B - The pumpkin leek soup sounds amazing! If you wouldn't mind, I would LOVE to have the recipe. Our local grocer, the Root Cellar, has lots of pie pumpkins still!

Chandelle - I think I can say it is one of ours too. I like the idea of using the yogurt in place of milk - I bet that does add a nice change up!

Daphne - Me too, thanks for suggesting it on your blog!

Haha, no I don't think you are. A lot of people like soy milk! Beyond soy sauce and edamame, I am just not a huge fan of soy. I think that is cool that you choose plant based milks just because though!

Theresa - I think it is going around. :-) Nutmeg? That sounds like an excellent addition. I hope you will post the recipe, I'd love to have many different variations on the Leek and Potato combination!

jessy said...

i just finished printing off the recipe, Jennifer! thanks! dan loooooves a thick soup (and especially one with potatoes) so this is perfect! i've only cooked with leeks once before - they were so good - i can't wait to make this, too!

soup, salad, and bread nights sound pretty darn glorious to me! i wish we were having one tonight. what a tasty way to stay warm, too!

that stinks that this week might be the last one that your market is open. but i agree - having all the local produce for a while longer at the root cellar rocks!

happy friday to you, too - and have fun with the baking and indoor gardening adventures this weekend! wahoooooooooooo!

Cookiemouse said...

Leek and potato soup should be thick and hearty. Thanks for cooking a great Welsh traditional dish. Have a lovely weekend.

Courtney said...

I love soup and salad nights too--especially in the fall/winter with the cooler weather. I think you have inspired me to have one this weekend!

BTW, I bought my first pineapple this week since the challenge over the summer, and I cut into it last night. It was so sweet and good--a real treat!


DP Nguyen said...

Hey Jennifer- What an interesting soup. I hope you enjoyed it.

lengslog said...

Jennifer!! Long time no see, chat, comment! How are you! and the kitties and Mr. Brett? Hope all is well. I see you're still cooking great! The soup looks delish (I like mine thick).

You know the other day I bought a poblano pepper and immediately thought of you!! Isn't that funny?

Have a great weekend!

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

you have a fun weekend in store! Our favorite farmers' market is over for the season too. Sad.

miss v said...

it's definitely getting chillier here! i'm looking forward to more of your soup recipes. :)

Sophie said...

The soup looks delicious! And I second that susanb--I too would like to see the leek and pumpkin soup. I read somewhere that you can substitute squash in almost any recipe that calls for potatoes, but haven't been adventurous about it yet.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Jessy - Haha, yes it seems Dan and I share a love of potatoes. Brett and I were talking about a hypothetical bomb shelter - he said we'd be stocked up on potatoes (sweet and regular) and sriracha hot sauce. :-)

Leeks are amazing. I wish I had gotten into them earlier as they have been available for a few months here. Same with okra actually. Anyways, the leeks are so popular with it being a "soup appropriate" time of year that you have to get to market early if you hope to get any leeks.

Soup, salad, and bread nights are great ways to stay warm. I'm happy tonight is another one of those nights, especially with how cold it is here today.

I'm letting my brunch settle and then it's on to work in the garden! It sounds weird saying that since I will be working in my computer room, but hey, that's the site of our winter garden.

Cookiemouse - I'm glad I got that right! If all Welsh food is this good, I need to get into it more. If you have any other suggestions you think we'd enjoy, please pass them on. You have a great weekend too!

Courtney - We have been having them weekly! It really does help with the cool weather, and it is drastically colder today than it has been for awhile, so I am looking forward to having some warm, hearty soup for dinner tonight. I hope you do end up having a soup night this weekend!

Oh wow! You went SO LONG Courtney, you should be so proud. I bet you really enjoyed it! We bought an avocado this weekend, I can't remember the last time we bought one. I'm excited for guacamole!

DP - It is a fantastic soup. I can't believe I hadn't tried it sooner!

Leng - LENG!!!! I know! Things have been so busy! I hope your classes and such aren't keeping you really stressed out. We are all wonderful here. Brett has returned to classes, so he has been pretty busy in that respect. I've been reading, trying to get our winter garden together, working on my baking. Can't complain at all really. How have you and Long been? I saw the pictures of a wedding dress you tried on the other day - you looked beautiful!

Aw, hahahaha! That is funny. We have your fried rice so often - usually once a week, and I always think of you, and am so thankful to have such a tasty, easy recipe to use!

You too Leng!

Lisa - Sure do. I'm looking forward to it. I am going to try a more "intense" baking endeavor today. Aw, I try to think of the positive things about winter, but I am going to miss all the farmer's I see each week!

Miss V - It's a sad thing too. We had such abnormally warm weather here last week 15+ degrees above usual, and now we have been thrust, quickly, back into the harsh reality of late fall.

Oh don't worry, with the cold weather, they'll keep 'a comin'!

Sophie - Thank you! I hope she comes back with the recipe, that soup sounds like it could be really good.

I didn't know that! I love squash, and I love potatoes, I 'll even use them together!

Erik said...

I love simple recipes like this. So good as they are, and they make great starting points for more complex dishes.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Erik - Me too. Ooooh, I like the sounds of that. Do you have any suggestions (for a non-dairy eating vegetarian) as to how to take this soup to a new level?