Saturday, February 12, 2011

Potato Leek Soup

I know I already posted today, but we had another great meal and I wanted to share it with you!  Also, tomorrow is Sunday.  Traditionally, we eat up our leftovers during the day and then have our Family Popcorn and Nature nights (we eat popcorn and watch a Nature show).  So probably no post tomorrow.

First, a note about a couple of the products I use. 

Butter: My husband's family has a history of very high cholesterol, so we use the Smart Balance "butter" for most things.  The Smart Balance LIGHT is vegan, but the regular one is not.  It says vegan on the label close to the ingredient/nutrition label if it is. 

Broth: I have always used the "Better Than Bouillon" soup bases.  I highly recommend these for flavoring dishes.  I have (in my pre-vegan days) used the chicken and beef versions and always liked those.

Milk: My family often drinks soy milk.  My 2-year-old, Gracie, is slightly intolerant of lactose.  The kids like the Silk Very Vanilla just for drinking (they call it "ice cream milk" because it tastes like vanilla ice cream).  I really like the very vanilla in my coffee or on oatmeal/cereal to sweeten it up a bit.  I buy the unsweetened Silk Soy Light for my daily uses. The unsweetened is better for cooking.

Tonight's menu was Potato Leek Soup served with Pita Chips, and fresh Veggie Dippers (cherry tomatoes, green pepper, broccoli, carrots, sugar snap peas).  My hubby and both my kids each ate two big bowls of the soup, and Eli asked for extra julienned leeks on top of his!  I was very surprised at the positive remarks and the amount of food they ate tonight.  The soup, when pureed, looks a little like green mush.  It's not exactly a "pretty" soup.  But they loved it.

The white and pale green part of 2 large leeks, split lengthwise, washed well, and chopped
1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped or mashed
1 tablespoon Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread
3 1/2 cups water
3 t.  Better Than Bouillon vegetable base
4 white or yellow potatoes, ½ inch dice (I leave on skins)
Thyme (and/or rosemary as you prefer)
Sea Salt and fresh cracked pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1 c. unsweetened Silk Soy Milk (optional for creaminess)
Green parts of leeks, julienned for sprinkling on top

In a large heavy saucepan cook the leeks, onion and garlic in the butter with salt and pepper to taste, covered, over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are softened but not browned. Add the water, bouillon, potatoes, seasonings and simmer the mixture, covered, for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. In a blender puree 1 cup of the soup, stir the puree into the remaining soup with the parsley, and season again to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and/or julienned leeks as garnish.

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