It has been a very dry summer. We haven’t had a lot of the typical tropical rain in the afternoons. My little garden hasn’t produced much of anything this year, and there have been very few wildflowers spotted on my daily walks.
Yesterday we got a taste of rain with a few quick thunderstorms. It rained off and on overnight and well into today. We could use a few more days of rain, but I think it already has run its course.
Rainy days always put the in the mood for soup. Actually just about anything puts me in the mood for soup.
I had just bought some beautiful leeks, so I decided to make one of my favorites: Potato-leek soup. It’s rich, creamy and filling without a lot of fat or calories. I like a little kick in my soup, so I add dried chilies while the potatoes are cooking. If you use the chilies, please remember to take them out before you puree the mixture since they don’t always soften very well in the cooking process.
1 tablespoon light olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 leeks, sliced (white, light green parts only)
1 quart (4 cups) vegetable stock
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1-2 dried whole chilies (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 cups rice or coconut milk (or water)
Heat olive oil in a 5-6 quart pot, stir in onion, celery and leeks. Saute until vegetables are translucent. Add vegetable stock, potatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. If you used the dried chili, remove it when potatoes are done. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture. I like to leave it somewhat chunky, but other people like it really smooth. You decide how you like. It will be really thick, so I thin it out with a little rice or coconut milk, but water is all right, too. Just stir in a little at a time until you have the desired consistency. Garnish with a little parsley or sliced green onion tops. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
I’m guessing the soup is in the 250 to 350 calories per cup range, depending on whether you use one of the milk products or water. Not a lot of protein, so I’d recommend pairing the soup with a protein of some kind.