I’m a lover of summer foods; maybe it’s part of my heritage from growing up in the tropics. Initially, it was difficult adjusting our family’s diet to comfort foods when we moved to southern latitudes, and ever so slowly I embraced soups and roasted vegetables, porridge and stews. Then became enamoured with foreign regional foods like a tagine, gnocchi and risotto. Some days I continue to experiment like finding the perfect flavoured broth for a pho. Other days I reach for the tried and comfortable routine recipe, like my children’s favourite leek and potato soup.
My soup is different to the usual leek and potato soup, ever being on the lookout to use all the vegetable, I choose to include the inner pale green leaves. Why waste the colourful part, when they are full of flavour and nutrition, and bring a hint of colour to your soup. Not only are they a healthy addition, the pale green leek leaves combined with the creamiest potatoes can give a delicious light oniony flavour.
· Leeks contain many unique flavonoid antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that have proven health benefits. Leeks are moderately low in calories. 100 g fresh stalks carry 61 calories.
· Their elongated stems provide good amounts of soluble and insoluble fibre. Laboratory studies show that allicin reduces cholesterol formation by inhibiting the HMG-CoA reductase enzyme in the liver cells.
· It also found to have antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal activities. Leeks are an excellent source of vitamins that are essential for optimum health. Their leafy stems indeed contain several vital vitamins such as pyridoxine, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin in right proportions.
LEEK & POTATO SOUP
Makes 4 bowls
3-4 desiree potatoes
cold-pressed olive oil
2 tablespoons Massel vegetable stock
Wash leeks thoroughly. Slice pale leek stems, remove outer green leaves and slice inner green stems. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil into a large saucepan. Place the leeks into the saucepan and sauté on medium heat for 5 minutes until the leeks soften. Meanwhile, boil a jug of water, and cut the potatoes into 2cm cubes. Add the potatoes and pour enough hot water into the saucepan to just cover the vegetables. Add the vegetable stock and stir. Place the lid on the saucepan, reduce heat to medium low, and cook for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Turn off the burner. Let sit for 10 minutes. Using a stick blender, blend the vegetables until smooth and creamy. This soup will be thick, so you may wish to add a little stock for desired consistency. Serve hot with vegan sour cream and sourdough bread. Enjoy!