After college I spent a lot of time in Nashville with my friends Michael and Billy. We were headed to a movie late one night and stopped at a grocery store to load up on snacks. In front of us in the checkout line was a thin reed of a man who might now proudly proclaim himself a redneck. Back then, I might have said hillbilly. At 9:30 pm, this man was buying several large bags of leeks and nothing else. My curiosity finally got the better of me; I had to ask.
“Excuse me, I’m so curious. What are you planning on doing with all those leeks?”
He turned to look deep into my eyes, and spoke with a heavy country drawl. “Well, ma’am, I just had me a taste for vee-shee-swahz tonight, and I had plenty of potaters at home.”
Abashed, I realized I had jumped to conclusions about him based on his appearance. I wished him good night and hoped he enjoyed his soup.
Whenever I buy leeks, I think of that guy. This time, the leeks came from Melissa’s Produce.
I had just made apple-leek soup from The Fresh 20 Cookbook (review tomorrow) and it inspired me to try something similar: a cross between vichyssoise, a cold potato-leek soup, and something more autumn-like. I substituted mild parsnips for white potatoes and added sage and freshly grated nutmeg. Enjoy!
vegan, gluten-free, low-sodium, raw, reduced-sugar, paleo, and migraine diets
Today’s post is part of our mission to help you rebuild your health through food and lifestyle choices. Look for posts on Mondays featuring gluten-free, sugar-free recipes made with healthy plant-based ingredients, Tuesday reviews, Wednesday essays, Thursday how-to’s, and Flashback Fridays recipe posts plus monthly giveaways on the last Friday of the month. We support Meatless Monday.
- 4 leeks white parts only
- 1 onions white (omit for migraine diet)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin) organic
- 1/4 cup wine (white) Madeira or marsala (omit for migraine diet)
- 4 parsnips
- 2 cups vegetable stock (low-sodium)
- 1 tsp sea salt (omit for low-sodium and migraine diets)
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg (dried) freshly grated
- 1/2 tsp sage (dried)
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- Cut off the green tops of the leeks and compost them.
- Clean the leeks by slicing them lengthwise, stopping at the root end. Hold upside down under running water and open up each layer of leek, washing all the dirt down the drain. Shake dry.
- Roughly chop the leeks. Peel and roughly chop the onion and garlic. (Omit onion for migraine diet.)
- Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, onions, and garlic, stirring. Cook for about 8 minutes until softened and reduced in size by nearly half. Add the salt (if using) to season while sautéeing.
- When they are just starting to brown, add the white wine and cook for 2-3 minutes more. (Omit wine for migraine diet.)
- Scrub the parsnips and trim both ends. Cut into large chunks. Add to the pot with the sage, nutmeg, and white pepper. Cook for about 3 more minutes, stirring to mix.
- Add the broth plus 2 C. (500 ml) filtered water. Stir to combine. Cover and bring just to a boil, then turn down the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 30-45 minutes, until the parsnips are very tender.
- Puree in batches in the blender until completely smooth.
- 190 calories
- 3 g fat
- 0 g cholesterol
- 490 mg sodium (115 mg sodium with sea salt omitted)
- 671 mg potassium
- 38 g carbohydrate
- 7 g fiber
- 12 g sugars
- 4 g protein
- 5 Weight Watchers Points Plus