New Food #1 was tea… and I think it’s going to stick! I just drank tea with my breakfast! Goodbye, coffee, perhaps…??
On to day two!
At the local market, I bought a lot of veggies: some that I enjoy (carrots, spinach), some that I don’t (onions), and some that I’ve never had before (leeks).
I bought leeks because I’ve read some good leek recipes lately that I’d like to try. I’m not a huge onion fan (I only enjoy them when they’re cooked down to the point of not being crunchy anymore) and leeks have always reminded me of onions. The mind is sometimes irrational!
Firstly, I had no idea what a leek looked like, other than it kind of looks like green onion or a big bunch of chives. I asked a local produce vendor if they had leeks so that they could actually point them out to me… I wonder if they caught on that I was clueless! I learned online to look for a few things with your leeks:
- roots still in tact
- strong stalks
- strong green tops that don’t droop
Also, leeks are dirty veggies, but unlike other dirty veggies like potatoes, yams, onions, etc. you can’t just scrub the outside. Leeks get dirt in between each of the leaves, so cleaning them is a bit more involved… but not hard!
First, I cut the roots off, removed the outer one or two leaves and rinsed them under cold water in a colander.
Next, I cut the leeks lengthwise starting about an inch and a half from the root (white part) all the way to the tips. Now it’s much easier to get in between each of the leaves to get it all clean!
I had read of a cleansing (yet plain) leek soup in the book French Women Don’t Get Fat, but all it is is leeks boiled in water without any seasoning. You drink the broth throughout the day for two days, eating the leeks with lemon juice as snacks. Uh, no thank you!
They had another soup recipe in the book that inspired me to create this really satisfying soup that has flavor, texture, nutrients, and is very versatile. The sweetness of the broth with the tangy-tasting caramelized leeks throughout make this an interesting soup!
Vegetable Soup with Caramelized Leeks
Yield 4-5 servings.
- 4 large carrots, cleaned, peeled, and roughly chopped
- 1/2 large sweet (yellow) onion, peeled and chopped in 4 chunks
- 3 large leeks, cleaned and roughly chopped (white and light green parts only!)
- salt, pepper, dried herbs to taste
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 tbsp butter or margerine
Clean and chop all of the vegetables and put them in a pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer uncovered for 40 minutes.
Remove about 1/3 cup of the cooked leeks and let them drain on a paper towel. Set aside.
Using an immersion blender, blend the rest of the vegetables and the water until completely smooth. (You can use a blender if you want, but make sure the vegetables have cooled a lot so you don’t burn out your blender’s motor, or burn yourself!) Season with salt, pepper, and herbs to taste.
Put the reserved leeks in a pan on medium heat, stirring constantly.
Add butter and wine. Let cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden brown. Add salt and pepper if desired.
Serve with a small spoonful of the caramelized leeks in each bowl atop the soup. It looks pretty! You can also just mix in all of the caramelized leeks throughout the soup if you’d like.
I feel that this soup could be made into a meal itself if you add some whole wheat pasta (fusilli, gemelli, ditalini, or other small extruded shape) and/or adding sliced sausage! It’s very versatile!