Food = Nourishment = Memories
Although we all know the main purpose of food is for nourishment, there are also many sentiments attached to food which can bring back memories. Sometimes it can remind us of places we've traveled to, or a person we ate that particular meal with. Food can also bring comfort, not only because it tastes good, but for the childhood stories attached to it. Potato Leek Soup is one of those dishes that holds a special place in my heart!
When I make potato leek soup, it brings me back to my childhood. My Scottish neighbor, whom my family was very close to, used to make a version of this soup referred to as Cock-a-leekie. It is known as "Scotland's National Soup" and is made with chicken stock, leeks, assorted vegetables, and barley or rice to thicken it. My neighbor, (a.k.a. "Uncle" Arthur because anyone close to our family instantly became my aunt or uncle), would use instant mashed potatoes to thicken it, and a chunk of butter for extra flavor. It is a "comfort food" memory for me and has influenced my taste buds to replicate over the years.
My version of Potato Leek Soup Recipe is a "wee" bit healthier and vegan, with a special twist of toppings for some extra flavor. I use "real" russet potatoes, vegetable broth and no dairy at all. I always enjoy a little bit of texture so the crispy "fried" leeks on top are a nice addition to the soup. Top it with some store bought chili pepper flakes for a little kick or you can even make your own chili pepper flakes for a special touch!
So whatever your memory or version of potato leek soup is, be creative and enjoy!
How do I make Vegan Potato Leek Soup?
It is quite simple to convert the recipe to a vegan version. Simply substitute butter with olive oil, chicken stock with vegetable broth and dairy with coconut milk.
Potato Leek Soup is healthy and super easy to make any day of the week. Using coconut milk helps to make it creamy and vegan - no dairy required!
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 large onion (1 cup), diced
2 leeks (1 leek set aside for frying)
1 garlic clove (optional), chopped
5 medium russet potatoes (5 cups)
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs thyme
6 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup coconut milk
3 tablespoons (high heat) grape seed oil
red chili pepper flakes
- Peel, clean & cube the potatoes. Dice onion. Trim off the root end of the leek and most of the green end. Cut the leek in half lengthwise. remove the outer layer and slice. Rinse well.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, in a dutch oven or a large pot. Cook onions for 5 minutes, then add leeks and garlic. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, salt, bay leaf, thyme and vegetable broth. Partially cover and cook for 30 minutes.
- While the soup is cooking, cut and fry the leeks - Clean and trim the leek the same as in Step 1. Cut the leek into 3 inch lengthwise strips (cut in 1/2 lengthwise and them into strips). Dry the leeks thoroughly. Heat 3 tablespoons grape seed oil in a small fry pan. Add leeks in small batches, remove with tongs when golden brown and place on paper towels to soak up excess oil. Set the fried leeks aside when done,
- When potatoes are done, remove the bay leaf and thyme. Use a hand immersion blender or a mixer to puree the soup. Stir in the lemon juice and coconut milk. Heat on low until desired temperature is reached. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Ladle into bowls and top with fried leeks and red chili pepper flakes.
*Cooks in half the time using an Instant Pot
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