soup and such

simple, fresh vegetarian soups and more


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asparagus and leek soup {virtual vegan potluck}

I’m so excited to be participating in my first Virtual Vegan Potluck today! Welcome to Soup and Such fellow potluckers! Pull up a chair and let me get you a bowl of soup.

I wanted to try something new for the potluck, keeping it seasonal and simple. I settled on this creamy asparagus and leek soup, thickened with some white beans and flavored very simply with salt, pepper, and a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice. It is super easy to make, 100% vegan as is, and most importantly, delicious!

Asparagus and leek soup

Asparagus and leek soup

The inspiration for this soup comes from Deborah Madison’s recipe for asparagus soup in her excellent Vegetable Soups. That cookbook is one of my favorites because her flavor combinations are always so good. Having said that, however, I did play around with the ingredients to simplify things a bit. I used leek instead of green onions and white beans instead of potato as a thickener. I just love leeks in pureed soups, so I couldn’t help myself. I took a chance with the white beans, but they worked really well here.

This soup would make a lovely starter for a special meal, but I ended up eating two bowls as an early lunch right after I made it. It was so good! Also, I didn’t have any on hand, but I think homemade croutons would make an excellent topper for this soup. I’ll do that next time.

Happy springtime cooking, everyone! ~Inge

p.s. If you’d like, you can subscribe to Soup and Such and receive an email every time a new post is available. I usually post about once a week. Everything I make is vegetarian and some things are vegan. Subscribe by clicking on the “follow” button at the top right!

 

To visit Eat.Breathe.Balance (the blog that precedes mine in the potlick), click here!

To visit House Vegan (the blog that follows mine in the potluck), click here!

To start at the very beginning of the potluck, click here!

 

Asparagus and leek soup
Inspired by Deborah Madison’s Vegetable Soups

An important tip: don’t leave out the fresh lemon juice at the end because it really brightens everything up. I even squeezed more lemon juice into my individual bowl of soup. If you’re thinking about adding a fresh herb, that is a good idea! Perhaps some chopped tarragon or basil stirred in at the end? You can also go the extra mile and make homemade croutons as a soup topper.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch of asparagus (about 5 cups chopped)
1 leek (about 2 cups sliced)
4 – 5 cups of veggie stock
1 cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed
Salt + pepper, to taste
Fresh lemon juice

Method:

1. Heat the olive oil in your favorite soup pot over medium heat. Add the asparagus and sauté for about 5 minutes. Then, add the sliced leek and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, if desired.

2. Pour in the veggie stock. You’ll probably use between 4 and 5 cups of stock. Use less stock if you like a thicker soup, more if you like a thinner soup. Once you add the stock, bring the soup to a boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes, until the veggies are soft. Add the white beans and turn off the heat.

3. Puree the soup. I used my trusty immersion blender, but you could also do it in batches in a regular blender.

4. Put the pureed soup back on the stove, keeping warm, and stir in the juice from half of a lemon. Taste the soup and decide if you want more lemon, salt, and/or pepper. Enjoy!


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Butternut squash, potato + leek soup

Butternut squash soup is always great, but truth be told, it sometimes feels a little on the boring side to me. I make a simple pot of it every now and then, with just the squash, a little onion and carrot, veggie broth, salt + pepper and a quick turn of the immersion blender. But if I want to do something really special, I make this soup. The combination of butternut squash, potato and leek is just delicious. I think it really takes butternut squash soup to the next level. The texture is so velvety and the color is such a pretty autumnal yellowish-orange. I want a scarf the color of this soup.

creamy butternut squash, potato + leek soup

If you’re thinking of making some toasted baguette slices with melted cheese to have on the side of this soup, that’s a good idea. Soups need dippers, right? Arrange slices of baguette on cookie sheet, top with shredded cheese and pop ’em in the oven on a high temperature for a few minutes until the cheese melts. The flavors of this particular soup go really well with Gruyère cheese, but parmesan also works if that’s what you happen to have.

~Inge

Butternut squash, potato + leek soup
Adapted only just a little from Cooking Light

2 tablespoons butter
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped (about 5-6 cups)
1 large potato, peeled and chopped (about 2 cups)
1 leek, sliced (about 2 cups)
4-5 cups veggie stock
1 teaspoon salt (or less, if your stock is salty)
½ teaspoon pepper
1 cup milk

Method:

1. Prep all of your veggies.
2. Heat butter in large soup pot. Add the squash, potato, and salt + pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes. I usually look for a little browning to happen and some color to develop on the bottom of the soup pot. Then, add the leek. Cook for a few more minutes.
3. Add the stock, stirring to scrap up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring the soup to a boil, then simmer until the veggies are soft. This usually takes about 20 minutes.
4. Remove the soup from the heat. Use an immersion blender (or transfer to a regular blender) and puree the soup. Add more stock if you need to adjust the consistency.
5. Return to a low heat and stir in the milk. Enjoy!