Monday, October 3, 2016
AUTUMNAL LEEK, CELERY AND WHITE BEAN SOUP
A couple of days ago, our neighbor and friend, Noni, gifted us with with some fresh leeks and celery from her garden. I love leeks and use celery regualrly, but I was astonished at the dark green color and intense flavor of this homegrown celery. And so many leaves, which are so full of flavor.
(TIP: If you only have access to storebought celery, choose the greenest you can find and use all of the celery tops and leaves, and the inner stalks with leaves, augmenting with chopped stalks if necessary.)
I immediately decided that we would have a leek and celery soup with white beans for dinner. I would also use much more celery than I usually do. The soup is simple and fairly quick to make, and makes a satisfying, warming autumn meal. I hope you enjoy it.
BRYANNA'S AUTUMNAL LEEK, CELERY AND WHITE BEAN SOUP
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups thinly-sliced white and light green parts of cleaned and trimmed fresh leeks
4 cups thinly-sliced fresh celery leaves and upper and inner stalks with leaves
4 1/2 to 5 cups thinly sliced cleaned and trimmed leek greens
6 cups rich vegan broth (I like Better than Bouillon No-Chicken Vegan Broth Paste)
4 cups (or 2/ 19 oz. [540 m cooked white kidney beans, or cannellini beans or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 Tbsp vegan basil pesto
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
smoked hot paprika
extra-virgin olive oil or dark sesame oil
Heat the oil in a soup pot over high heat. Add the white and light green leek parts and stir witgh a wooden spoon until wilted. Add the celery and stir til wilted. Now add the green leek parts and stir again until wilted. Add a sprinkle of salt. Turn the heat down to Medium, cover and cook about 10 more minutes, stirring every few minutes and turning the heat down if it starts to stick.
Add the broth, beans, bay leaf, and thyme. Stir and bring to a simmer over high heat. Turn down to a low simmer, cover and cook about 20 minutes. Stir in the pesto and taste for seasoning.
Ladle into soup bowls, drizzling each with a teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil, or dark Asian sesame oil. Sprinkle with smoked hot paprika and serve immediately.
Nutrition (per serving): 279 calories, 47 calories from fat, 5.4g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 795mg sodium, 1059.5mg potassium, 47.3g carbohydrates, 10.7g fiber, 6.7g sugar, 14.8g protein, 8.2 points.