The nights are getting cooler and cooler. The sweatshirts are finding their way out of storage and into the closet. People all over the Northern Hemisphere are watching their glowing fireplaces while snuggling under warm blankets. Yep, fall is definitely upon us. The only thing missing is a bowl of hot, cozy soup to slowly sip while the fire crackles and the dog snores at their feet.
Fall is (unofficially) soup season…at least in my universe. It’s Sunday, You’ve been out all day in the crisp autumn air, picking pumpkins, raking leaves, hiking, or doing whatever wondrous things you can do in the great outdoors in this season. You get home and now have to figure out the plan for dinner. The afternoon has gotten away from you, so you need to think of something quick and hearty to fill and warm your belly. Then the answer comes to you. Soup! It’s finally cool enough to enjoy it without breaking a sweat and what could be easier than throwing veggies and stock into a pot and letting it simmer for a bit. Likely, nothing. Plus, soup is a glorious way to stock up your fridge with healthy leftovers for the week, as it is just as easy to make an extra-large batch.
This soup is a particular favorite of mine, as it made me fall madly in love with a vegetable that I spent a better part of my life wrinkling my nose at. Leeks! Glorious, beautiful, wonderful leeks! If leeks are a foreign veggie to you, let’s get you acquainted with this lovely, nutrient dense vegetable that is often under appreciated. Leeks are a lot like onions, but with a much milder flavor. They are full of vitamins and minerals, like Vitamins A, B6, K, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, and Manganese. They offer a delicious pop of health to whatever dish they are added to and this cozy sweet potato and leek soup is my favorite way to enjoy them.
The soup is made with a handful of simple ingredients and comes together quickly, with little effort or time over the stove. It makes for delicious leftovers and is hearty enough to steal center stage on the dinner table as the main course. The sweet potatoes offer a lovely, sweet creaminess to this pureed soup that compliments the savory flavor of the leeks. A little garlic, some salt and pepper to taste to finish it off, and a simple, hearty soup that will warm your hands and taste buds is yours for the slurping.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 pound leeks, trimmed, cleaned, and chopped*
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound sweet potatoes, washed and cubed (peeling is optional)
- 6 cups broth (I used bone broth)
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste
- In a large sauce pot, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Once warm, add leeks to the pot and sauté for about 5 minutes.
- Add minced garlic to the pot, stir, and cook until the leeks are translucent (about 3-5 more minutes)
- Add broth, salt, and pepper to the pot and bring to a boil.
- Once the leeks and broth are boiling, add the potatoes to the pot. Turn the heat down to medium-low, cover, and allow the soup to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until it has a smooth consistency. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can also blend the soup (carefully!) in small batches in your blender. Add coconut milk to the soup and stir to combine. Check for flavor and add salt and/or pepper to adjust to your personal taste.
- Enjoy the soup warm, garnished with red pepper flakes, paprika, pepitas, or coconut cream. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or in freezer for up to a month.
*Note: If you have never worked with leeks before, take great care when cleaning them. Leeks are notoriously full of sand and improperly cleaned leeks may ruin a meal. My favorite way to clean leeks is by cutting them lengthwise first and then dicing them. I then throw the chopped leeks in a large bowl or sink full of water, agitate a bit with my hands to shake sand free of the leeks, and then strain the dirty water off.
All of the leek is edible, but the dark green part of the vegetable is quite tough. I recommend using the white and light green parts of the leek in this recipe.