Last week’s Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Soup was so well received at home that it inspired me to try another one. And let’s face it – we have the frigid temperatures for a few more weeks. Cozy up by the fireplace on a cold winter night, with a bowl of this warming Leek and Thyme Soup.
This is a simple recipe to make, especially when you are running short of time. It’s nutritious and healthy and there is a good chance that most of the ingredients are already in your fridge and pantry. The recipe calls for seasonal vegetables that are easily found in your local supermarket or farmer’s market and very reasonably priced. Leeks are best consumed between December and March but are available throughout the year, just like potatoes. The cream or yogurt at the end enhances the velvety texture of the soup and adds a rich feel.
Vegan Friendly Option
This time I wanted to try something sightly different; so I swapped the cow’s milk for unsweetened almond milk and I replaced the cream or yogurt with some truffle flavored hot sauce. This was an experiment and it turned out to be absolutely delicious! The unsweetened almond milk taste was very discreet and was a good alternative to regular milk. If you do not like almond milk and still want a vegan option, substitute with soy, hemp or flax milk.
I would have never thought that hot sauce and truffle oil would be good together. Yet they are indeed an unusual and lovely combination. The truffle hot sauce definitely brings the dish to another level! In the end this was a 100 % vegan soup. Which was just perfect for me as I am leaning towards a plant based diet whenever I can.
I re-discovered leeks not long ago and realized how versatile they are and how much I enjoy incorporating them in various recipes. Besides using them in soups or veloutes, they are delicious sauteed or lightly fried. They make a great base for a quiche or vegetable gratin.
Leek and Thyme Soup
2 lbs leeks
1 lb potatoes
1 large sprig of fresh thyme
½ cup butter (3 tbsp olive oil for a vegan option)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 ¼ cup milk (Substitute with unsweetened almond, soy, hemp or flax milk for a vegan option)
Salt & pepper to taste
Creme fraiche or greek yogurt to garnish (Optional)
Slice the leeks finely and rinse thoroughly under cold water.
Peel and wash the potatoes and cut them into dice, about 1 inch. Pat dry on paper towels.
Heat the butter (or olive oil) in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and add the leeks with the sprig of thyme. Cook for about 5 minutes until the leeks are tender. Add potatoes and cold water just to cover the vegetables. Cover and let simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
Add the milk and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer again for 15 minutes.
Remove the sprig of thyme and let the soup cool for 10 to 15 min.
Strain the vegetables and transfer to a blender or food processor. Puree, adding the broth until you reach the desired consistency.
Serve warm and garnish with a bit of cream or yogurt, a sprig of thyme or fried leek rings.
I chose to puree all the ingredients but this delicious leek and thyme soup can also be enjoyed in its original state, (not pureed) “peasant style”.
It is a light soup full of vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately the potatoes have a bad reputation, which in fact is not justified! They are a great source of fiber, B complex vitamins (B6 and folate), vitamin C, as well as minerals such as iron, magnesium and potassium.
Leeks are high in potassium and low in sodium. They are a natural diuretic and help regulate digestion. They are a good source of dietary fiber and vitamins A, B6, B9, K and particularly vitamin C – which helps protect the immune system and the nervous system. Vitamin C also helps with iron absorption and reducing fatigue. In fact, leeks have around twice the amount of Vitamin C as the same quantity of oranges. So make sure to include them in your meals!
Did you know?
The leek is one of the national emblems of Wales, worn along with the daffodil. The vegetable became the national emblem of Wales following an ancient victory by an army of Welshmen who wore leeks as a distinguishing sign.
Source: Fondation Louis Bonduelle