When I lived in France one of the families I stayed with ate fresh vegetable soup every single day before dinner. To be honest, I’m not really sure how the mother pulled this off as it seems a bit ambitious to make fresh soup every day. What I did find is that it really is a nice way to start a meal.
Having more than one course automatically makes dinner feel like an event rather than a chore. I also found that having a full serving of vegetables before the main meal curbed the hunger-monster quite a bit. Overall it seemed to curb any tendency to overeat at dinner. Not to mention in the winter soup is always a welcome addition to warm you up.
If you want to add more soup to your life, but don’t want to spend forever doing it this is a great recipe.
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 large leeks, sliced & washed
- 1 - 28 oz can diced tomatoes (I use Unico because they don’t have added sugar)
- 4 cups vegetable stock (I use Harvest Sun bouillon)
Leeks are one of the loveliest winter vegetables around. They look like giant green onions (or scallions), which makes sense because they’re all part of the same family. Unlike regular onions leeks are a lot sweeter and more mild. Even better, they don’t make you cry when you cut them. Rich in vitamin C, folate & iron they’re more than just a nice flavour, they’re good for you. In short, leeks should be your new best friend.
The only downside to them is that they really hold on to dirt in between their layers so you have to wash them carefully. Take your large leeks and cut off the bottom crusty root bit (as you would any root vegetable), and then cut off the dark green top parts. You’ll be left with a stalk of white to light green. Slice it into fine rounds and place in a colander or salad spinner. Do this with all of your leeks.
I usually give them a good wash through once in a colander to get any initial dirt off. Then I soak them in water for about 20 minutes. The easiest way is just to stick them in the basket of a salad spinner and fill the whole thing up with water. When you’re done you can pull out the insert, discard the water and then give them a quick spin to get off any excess water.
Now that’s out of the way you’ll be happy to know it was the most time consuming part. Next up put a large pot over medium-high heat on your stove. Wait about a minute until you feel it starts to get warm and add in your extra virgin olive oil. Swish it around to coat the bottom of the pot. Add in your sliced leeks and stir it around with a wooden spoon. Allow the leeks to cook for about 5-10 minutes or until they start to get a little soft and translucent.
Add in your can of diced tomatoes (juice and all), and stir to combine everything. Reduce the heat to medium. While that’s cooking away make your vegetable stock. I use an organic bouillon powder called Harvest Sun for mine, mostly because it’s fast and easy, but more power to you if you want to make your own from scratch. Whenever the stock is ready (ie, however long it takes you to boil a kettle and stir), add it in to the rest of your soup.
Turn the heat to medium-low, season with a bit of sea salt & pepper and cover. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. After this remove half of the soup to another container and blend using an immersion blender. If you don’t know what an immersion blender is (or don’t have one), you can just blend it in a regular blender or food processor. Add the blended bits back in to your soup and mix it. It’ll make the soup a lot thicker and richer.
And there you have it... a light & simple soup.