Saturday, August 22, 2009

Potato-Leek Soup

Now, you totally don't have to cook on the vegan cleanse diet. But, I definitely think it helps. I've been making big batches of things (beans, quinoa, polenta, vegetable stock, soup) so that I can have hot, handy meals throughout the week.

I found this recipe on Oprah's site and have been eating my way through the pot all week. It's delicious, hearty and filling. I'm reprinting the recipe as is, but I did make some modifications. I'll note them below. The recipe recommends straining it, but I actually liked the chunky texture with the bits of cashews, so I skipped that step.

Potato and Leek Soup

Serves 6—8

  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped Spanish onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 4 cups peeled and chopped russet potatoes
  • 2 cups chopped leeks (white part only)
  • 5 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 cup soaked cashews
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the celery, potato and leeks and sweat, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to soften.

Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the vegetables are tender. Remove the soup from the heat.

Place in a blender or food processor along with the cashews and puree until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Modifications: I used a lot less onion (about half a yellow onion) and substituted homemade vegetable stock for the water. I thought this gave it more flavor. As I said above, I didn't strain it after blending it with my immersion blender.

I do think it needed quite a bit of salt.

Note: Soaked cashews, it seems, just means covering them in water and leaving them for a while. I left mine overnight. They were much softer and easier to blend, and there was a film of oil on the surface of the water that got poured off.

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