Growing up, this was my all-time favorite soup. Once in a while, my mom would pack it in a thermos for me to take to school for lunch, and I always looked forward to those days. Now that I’m trying to eat vegan more often than not, I have revamped the original recipe, which was heavy on butter and cream, to be a little lighter but just as flavorful. It took several tries, but I’ve finally got it! The trick is to keep it simple. The first time I made a vegan version of this soup, I tried way too hard to compensate for the loss of all that fat by adding a whole bunch of different veggies and herbs. That masked the flavors of the potatoes and leeks, which really should be the stars of this soup. Now I’ve learned to stick to those two veggies alone, add a little bit of thyme to compliment their flavors, and simply substitute the butter and cream for vegan versions of these products. Voila, a delicious and healthier take on a classic and my personal favorite – cream of leek and potato soup!
- 4 leeks, sliced and washed thoroughly (use only white and light green parts)
- 1 tbsp vegan butter
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 small potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 small bunch of thyme (5-6 sprigs)
- 5 cups veggie broth (I use low-sodium)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup unsweetened, unflavored almond milk
- Prepare the leeks: Cut off the dark green tops, and the little bit of roots at the ends of the leeks, and throw these away. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise, then slice them into little half circles. Put the sliced leeks in a salad spinner and fill it with water to really wash them well, as leeks tend to hold a lot of sand and dirt. Drain and repeat if necessary. Give them a spin to dry off.
- Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the leeks and cook on medium-low heat until translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes more.
- Add the potatoes, thyme, broth, salt, and pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and cover to simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Try to leave the sprigs of thyme in-tact so it is easier to fish them out later.
- Take the soup off the heat. Use tongs to remove the thyme from the pot. A lot of the thyme leaves will have fallen off into the soup; we want that! Just get the stems out.
- Blend the soup until smooth. I use a hand-held immersion blender, which I highly recommend! If you don’t have one, carefully blend the soup in a blender in small batches, pouring the blended soup into a second pot.
- Stir the almond milk into the blended soup and put on low heat to heat through, 3-4 minutes. Serve and enjoy! I love this with a piece of buttery toast!