Some of you are enjoying summer-like temperatures, while others (like me) are wondering if spring will really show up. But regardless of the actual weather, in March I tend to have hybrid cravings. My taste buds are excited about the spring vegetables that are beginning to pop up, but my not-yet-toasty body temperature is still loving comfort soups and earthy flavors. For that reason, a creamy potato leek soup like this one fits the bill nicely during seasonal transitions. The fresh leeks, hint of lemongrass, and vegetable broth give a lighter, meat-free springtime spin, but the potatoes offer a creamy, warm vibe that my body still longs for.
The original potato leek soup recipe is adapted from one of my still favorite vegan cookbooks,500 Vegan Recipes. Half the fun of this massive tomb is trying to guess which of the two authors penned which recipe. Both ladies have been blogging their recipes for quite some time, offering hints of their style. But still, I was stumped on some. This recipe though, is definitely from Joni. I think.
Regardless of who created this creamy potato leek soup, it is delicious and filling! I tend to be one of those people who eats half my body weight at each meal, but a modest bowl of this soup was plenty. On that note, this recipe makes for a perfect vegetarian night meal (Meatless Mondays anyone?), and who doesn’t love leftover soup for lunch?
Also, if you aren’t familiar with lemongrass, don’t be frightened away. Lemongrass is a delightful and fragrant plant that can be found in most supermarkets. Look for it with the small packages of fresh herbs in the refrigerated produce section. If you have an Asian market nearby, even better as it is usually more abundant and less expensive. I actually picked up a big container of dried lemongrass for a great price at World Market. Though fresh is always best, dried lemongrass works beautifully, too, and is quite convenient.
Special Diet Notes: Creamy Vegan Potato Leek Soup
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, and optionally soy-free.
- 2 tablespoons dairy-free margarine (such as Earth Balance Soy-Free) or olive oil
- 2 medium leeks, sliced into ¼-inch rounds and halved (about 3 cups)
- 2 teaspoons dried lemongrass or 2 tablespoons fresh lemongrass
- 4 cups vegetable broth (I used Pacific Foods Organic Vegetable Broth)
- 1-1/2 lbs russet potatoes, cleaned and cut into ½-inch cubes (skin on for that “rustic” part)
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste (I used 1 teaspoon total)
- ⅛ teaspoon white pepper (optional)
- Fresh ground black pepper, to taste (optional)
- Heat the margarine or oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat.
- Add the leeks and lemongrass and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the leeks soften quite a bit and just begin to brown.
- Add the broth, deglazing the pan if needed, and bring the soup to a boil.
- Add the potatoes, and ½ teaspoon of the salt, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
- The original recipe called for using an immersion blender, leaving some chunky, but I don’t have one. So I placed half of the soup in my blender, and carefully (make sure that lid is covered, you don’t want hot soup flying out!) whizzed it until creamy and relatively smooth. I then added this back to the pan along with the white pepper and gave it all a stir to combine.
- Taste test and season to taste with more salt (I used another ½ t). If using black pepper, this is the time to add it, or you could let each person grind in their own.