Vegan potato leek soup with peas and lemon for a lightened up version of the classic comfort food dish. This simple meal is perfect for cozy winter meals or for the first spring vegetables.
Potato and leek soup is usually made with heavy cream and then pureed to make a very lush, smooth soup. I like it a little chunkier, so this is my vegan, cream-free version! I’ve lightened things up with some lemon and greens but it’s still a potato soup, and definitely comfort food. It’s ultra traditional all over Europe and the UK; the first time I made potato leek soup I was about eight years old and had seen it in one of my mom’s cookbooks. I asked my aunt, who was at our place, what leeks were. She told me they were the same as onions (they don’t grow well in Manitoba and used to be difficult to find) so I made a very onion-y potato soup and didn’t try it again for years. In Germany leeks are left in the ground through the winter and they’re best at the very beginnings of spring, so now, but you can find them locally throughout the colder months. With some frozen peas and spinach, this ends up being a nice hearty soup that’s easy on your wallet, too.
So I wrote yesterday about my newfound hatred of polenta, and how I had a big recipe flop with it. I’m posting this soup today instead of what I had planned, and total honesty here, I’m not thrilled with the photos. It was just too damn dark when I took them. You guys sure seem to love the posts where I hate the photos, though, so I don’t think it matters that much! Some of my most popular recipes – like these quinoa patties, this dark rye bread, and this carrot & lentil soup – almost weren’t posted because I wasn’t happy with the pictures. Sometimes you just need to chill and do it anyway. It’s a great recipe no matter what, and one of my favourites to quickly pull together whenever it’s cold out.
Usually I try to make sure all of the main dishes I post are full meals in themselves, but this one needs something on the side or mixed in for added protein. Graham rebelled agains legumes this week so we had this soup with a couple of eggs, but usually I would have added about a cup of chickpeas to the mix. You can do that, add lentils instead, or maybe serve it with some red lentil falafel minus the naanwich.
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Potato Leek Soup with Lemon and Greens
- 1 teaspoon cooking oil
- 1/2 medium / 70 grams yellow onion diced
- 400 grams / 2 cups potatoes cut into 2cm pieces
- 2 medium* leeks white only, cut into 1cm slices
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 120 grams / 1 cup frozen spinach**
- 150 grams / 1 cup frozen peas
- Zest and juice of a lemon
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the onions for about two minutes, or until softened and slightly browned. Add the potatoes and cook for another five minutes, then stir in the leeks and cook for an additional couple of minutes. Add the garlic, cook for another minutes, then add the spices and stir for about 30 seconds. Pour the vegetable stock into the pot.
Increase the heat to high and bring the soup to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30-35 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. Stir in the frozen spinach and peas and simmer for another couple of minutes or until the vegetables are just thawed. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon, then taste and season as needed. Serve hot.
• If you want to use fresh greens, use the same weight (about 3 cups) and stir it in at the same time as the lemon.
* I forgot to weigh the leeks, sorry! They should be about loonie sized in diameter with mostly white.
** Leftovers will keep for about three days in the fridge, but I haven't tried freezing this.