Happy Happy New Year! First of all, I hope you all had a wonderful time welcoming 2016 – I did it the old fashioned way by enjoying a bittersweet dinner at West Bridge’s last service and seeing Star Wars and being in bed before midnight rang out. Crazy stuff.
Secondly, why is Boston so cold all of a sudden? It was over 60 degrees on Christmas Eve and I actually wore a dress. One week later and I’m bundled up in my wool coat and boots whenever I can summon the energy to go outside and pray I don’t get blown away by the sharp winds. My body and closet are equally confused by the hot and cold temper of Mother Nature. Literally.
I know it’s a new year and many of you are probably checking (or unchecking) plenty of your resolutions list. For me, I’ve decided to scrap the traditions for this year and just make changes as I go. It’s less pressure off my busy brain and hopefully it’s more realistic. However, my new goal is to travel somewhere new every year. It’s admirable to set at least one goal.
Ok, enough with the chitchat – let’s talk winter food. I haven’t tried a new soup recipe for a while and now that there’s finally snow on the ground, I think we’re all ready for a steaming bowl of something hearty. Without compromising your new to-do list for the start of this year, I present you this curry potato leek soup.
This delicious soup is a little bit of everything – it’s a little spicy, hearty, flavor-packed, gluten free, and vegan. It’s incredibly easy to make and requires very few ingredients. Don’t be afraid to use different potatoes, Yukon Gold or russet potatoes are great choices, too. If your taste buds are sensitive, reduce the amount of curry for a milder soup. And please don’t forget the crispy leek garnishment – they bring a subtle smokiness when added.
The curry and coconut milk add a new look to a beloved classic. I hope you all get to try this one and taste what I’m tasting.
To a new year and new recipes. Join us.
Curry Potato Leek Soup
Inspired by Robert Irvine
3 leeks (about 3 cups)
4 yellow potatoes (about 3 cups)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
½ tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon curry powder (adjust to your liking)
Salt and pepper
4 cups vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
2/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 teaspoon olive oil
To start, cut the light part of the leeks from the dark green tops. Cut the light, edible part of the leeks into halves lengthwise. Then cut them into ½“ bits – put them into a large bowl of cold water to get all the dirt out. Once they’re clean and drained, set aside 1/3 cup for garnishing at the end.
Tip: You can scrap the dark green tops or you can save them for making stock after giving them a good rinse.
Next, clean the potatoes thoroughly and cut into 1” cubes.
In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, melt coconut oil and dump in curry powder. Let the curry warm up and release its aroma, this will take about a minute or two. Then throw in the leeks and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir occasionally until the leeks are soft, about 5 minutes.
Pour in the stock and turn the heat to high. Let the stock come to a boil and carefully add the diced potatoes. Let the stock come to a boil again before reducing to a gentle simmer. Toss in the bay leaf and allow the soup to cook for 20 minutes. Then add in the coconut milk , stir, and let simmer for another 10 minutes.
While the soup is cooking, start preparing the garnish. In a small pan on medium heat, add the 1/3 cup of sliced leeks into a dry pan. Add a pinch of salt and heat for 1 minute. Next, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil – stir and sauté until the leeks are crispy and golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Set aside for the soup.
Now check the soup – if the potatoes are soft, then it is done. Turn off the heat. Remove the bay leaf and use an immersion blender (or regular blender, do in batches if necessary) on low speed to pulse on and off; the soup should not be completely smooth and should still contain chunks of potatoes and specks of leek. This step will thicken up the soup and add more body. Once the texture is to your liking, taste for final seasoning and make any adjustments if necessary.
Serve in warm bowls and garnish with crispy golden leeks.