It’s a toss-up in terms of which ingredient is the star in this recipe, but I think my choice is the leeks, grown only meters away at our neighbour’s farm. Leeks are part of the allium family, along with onions, shallots, garlic, chives and scallions. All vegetables from the allium family are prebiotics, which feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut, and they all contain a sulfur rich compound called allicin, which is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral, and neutralizes free radicals that can cause inflammation that leads to chronic diseases.
Leeks are a very good source of antioxidant polyphenols, folate, vitamin K, A, and C. Folate, which can also be known as B9, is needed for cell tissue and growth, is important for cardiovascular health, and is important in the work of neurotransmitters that manage mood and psycho-emotional health.
Be sure to wash your leeks thoroughly to get rid of the sandy soil that likes to hide between the layers. Just slice the leeks in half lengthwise and wash away any soil or debris from the inner layers. As an aside, here’s a brief story, and lesson learned, about soil vs. dirt. Several years ago, my partner and I decided to plant a tiny raised garden. When my partner finished building it, we asked our neighbor Jeff, who has been farming for decades, if he would mind delivering us some dirt for our one little raised bed (3’x10’). His reply was that you never ask a farmer for dirt, because dirt is what you sweep off the floor. Soil is what gives life. Profound, right? If we value our health, then we need to value our soil and calling it dirt implies otherwise.
Our little raised bed makes for a fun summer project, and we get enough greens to keep us fed all summer and enough tomatoes to make green tomato brownies in the winter. Thanks to Jeff and Ben’s beautiful, nutrient dense soil.
Just look at all this goodness that relies on rich and healthy soil to nourish it, so it can in turn nourish us. Now grab yourself some vegetable stock and turn this into soup.
Leek, Broccoli and Sweet Potato Soup
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 leeks
- 1 red onion
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 head broccoli
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup coconut milk
- Chop the leeks, onion, sweet potato, broccoli and garlic. Heat avocado oil in large saucepan.
- Add red onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes.
- Add leeks, sweet potato and broccoli and sauté for five minutes.
- Add turmeric, salt, pepper and vegetable stock.
- Stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook for 10-15 minutes, until sweet potatoes are soft.
- Using an immersion blender, blend ingredients until creamy. Add coconut milk, heat and serve. If you like you soup a little thinner, add up to one cup of additional water and stir.