Thursday, May 27, 2010

Celery, Leek & Potato Soup

A very simple and soothing soup that is very satisfying too whether you make it cheesy or not. Pat K. introduced the cheesy version of this luscious soup to us a long time ago. I have long since lost the piece of paper with the recipe but who needs it when it is indelibly etched on my brain? Pat prepared it with onions, celery and potatoes and served it with freshly baked carrot muffins and a Waldorf salad - I still remember the taste - yummy!

I make this soup often with leeks instead of onions plus a few zucchinis too without any cheese or milk. You are not limited to using just these veggies; use any veggies you like. Now the big question is: do you want it with or without cheese - vegan or not - which one? Either way you end up with one delicious soup!

Here is my vegan version; you can make it cheesy if you wish: Reduce the amount of water to 3 cups; add 3 cups of milk with 1 Tbsp of all purpose flour mixed in, and 8 oz. grated Cheddar Cheese as directed. Of course you can use non-dairy milk and cheese and have it cheesy while still keeping it vegan :P.

6 Servings

Ingredients:

3 medium Leeks
1 stalk Celery
2 large Potatoes (Russet type is best)
2 zucchinis (optional)
6 cups Water
1 tsp Sea Salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1/2 cup Parsley, finely chopped
4 Tbsp fresh Chives or Garlic Chives, finely sliced
Earth/Smart Balance (Butter Substitute), for serving

Method:

Wash well all the veggies and drain and dry well.

Halve the leeks lengthwise and slice into thin semicircles.

Separate the ribs of celery, trim the ends, and slice thinly.

Peel the potatoes if necessary and cut into 1" cubes.

Trim the ends off the zucchinis and slice thinly.

Combine all the veggies with the water and the salt and bring to a boil.

Turn heat down and simmer until veggies are tender and soft, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Puree the soup so that there are no big chunks but it still has some texture. Using an immersion blender makes this task quite simple. If you are opting for the cheesy soup, omit this step.

(Add the milk mixture, bring to a boil, remove from heat and stir in the cheese if you are making the cheesy soup at this time.)

Add a little hot water if the soup is too thick; but not too much because this soup should be on the thicker side rather than thinner.

Stir in parsley and freshly ground pepper, cover and let rest for a few minutes.

Serve hot with a generous sprinkle of chives and additional freshly ground pepper as desired.

A small pat of Earth or Smart Balance (healthy butter substitutes) on each serving is a welcome
garnish. Enjoy!

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