Leeks are such a great addition to soup and you’ll love this hearty soup with potatoes and other fresh veggies. A close relative of garlic and onions, leeks have a mild onion-like flavor that works well in many recipes because it adds just the right amount of flavor without being overbearing. One cup of leeks is approximately 54 calories, so if you are a calorie counter it’s nice to know they keep you feeling satisfied without breaking the calorie bank. Leeks not only add bulk to your meal, but serve as an excellent source of vitamin packed nutrition, thanks to their phytonutrient content. Leeks are available year round with their peak season being late winter or early spring. They can be substituted for onions (if you are sensitive to onions) in many recipes and can be steamed, boiled, roasted, sauteed, slow cooked in a crock pot, simmered in a pot, or eaten raw. Leeks make a great addition to soups, casseroles, dips, sauces, quiches, served as a vegetable, on salads, or stuffed. They also come in different sizes.. some have very thick/wide stalks and other bunches will have much smaller stalks.
Let’s talk for a moment about the health benefit of leeks. They have much to offer in the same way as does garlic, because they contain sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin. Allicin is known to be anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal! Can’t beat that! Research shows that as allicin digests in your body, it produces sulfenic acid. This compound neutralizes dangerous free radical oxidants faster than any other known plant compound. Some other quick nutrition facts about leeks include:
- Leeks also contain a flavonol called kaempferol, that is also found in broccoli, kale, and cabbage, and is known to lower cancer risk.
- Sulfer rich food good for stimulating the gallbladder and liver.
- Contain vitamins A and K. Good for eyes, red blood cell development, regulate blood flow and increase circulation, and supports bone health.
- Has healthy amounts of folic acid, riboflavin, magnesium, niacin, and thiamin.
- Adequate intake of leeks during pregnancy can help prevent certain defects in newborns.
- B vitamins lower the risk of heart disease, blood clots, and stroke.
- Good source of vitamin C which aides in wound healing and the production of collagen in the skin.
- Lowers inflammation in the body associated with environmental toxins and other diseases the body is already fighting like diabetes, arthritis, or autoimmune issues.
These are just some of the health benefits as I’m sure there are many more scientifically charged explanations with in depth details, but I like to keep it simple and basic. It’s easier to remember and it appeals better to folks (like myself) who are on the go and don’t want to take the time for all the medical mumbo jumbo. Just tell me in a nutshell what the benefits are and let’s go! … onto our recipe!
How to Make It:
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the carrots, celery, onions, cauliflower and garlic and stir to coat with oil. You can put the lid on and let the ingredients cook for about 10 minutes this way.
Add the potatoes and soup stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, put on the lid on the pot and cook for another 10 minutes.
Finally, add the spinach or greens and let cook for another 3 minutes or so, until they have softened. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup cauliflower, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
- 2-3 leeks, cut lengthwise, then rinsed and sliced
- 4-5 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 7-8 cups of vegetable stock
- A handful of spinach or other greens, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.
- Add carrots, celery, onions, cauliflower and garlic and stir to coat with oil.
- Cover and let the ingredients cook for about 10 minutes this way.
- Add the potatoes and soup stock and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium, put on the lid on the pot and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Finally, add the spinach or greens and let cook for another 3 minutes or so, until they have softened.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Hope you enjoy this leek potato soup! Please write us to let us know if you did, did not, or what you would change.