This Garlicky Leek Soup Recipe was inspired by my love of potatoes. While there is only a little potato in it, that certain creamy potato flavor is there. The combination of potatoes, leeks, and garlic are more than the sum of their parts – they were made to sing together. Lately, I’ve been on the sub cauliflower for white potatoes in everything train, and I did stir some cauliflower into one bowl of this soup and that was delicious. In this vein (of mashed potatoes) you might top a bowl with a little grass-fed organic plain yogurt. This recipe also has a boost of plant protein with a can of white beans in there. All in all, a nutrient-dense and delicious soup, perfect for a cool spring day.
In my humble opinion, potatoes have gotten a bad rap in the healthy food world. They are rich in fiber and vitamin C, and particularly when you can find smaller colorful purple, red or gold fingerlings – all very worth the space in your garden – filled with disease-busting antioxidants.
6large clovesgarlicpeeled, center stem removed, chopped
1 mediumorganic potatoskin on, chopped
1 Tbspolive oil
6 cupsclean water
3 large leekssliced and rinsed
115-oz can cannelloni beans (Eden brands is a good choice)
1 small bunchparsleychopped
1pinchsalt and black pepperor to taste
Place onion, carrots, celery garlic and potato in a heavy soup pot, with olive oil, and simmer over medium heat until vegetables are soft. Add leeks and thyme and stir. Once you smell the leeks and thyme begin to cook (couple minutes), add water and beans.
Turn to medium-low and simmer 30 minutes.
If you have an immersion blender, lucky you - blend the soup. If not, use a blender (to minimize accidents, let the soup cool before you blend it). Alternatively, leave it unblended. Add parsley, black pepper and just a smidgeon of salt.
Other additions if you so choose:1/2 head cauliflower, chopped. Plain organic grass-fed yogurt.
Potato heads unite!
I hope you enjoy my Garlicky Leek Soup Recipe. For more delicious recipes, visit my Easy Healthy Recipes page.
I finally got a glass pitcher with a cylinder in the top so that I can easily make herbal waters – cold water sun infusions. These are really the perfect alternative to soda or even to sparkling water in plastic containers.
Why Drink Herbal Water?
With herbal waters, you take a pass on the sugar and whatever else is in packaged drinks you purchase. But you also get a smidgen of phytonutrient and bioenergetic support (that certain je ne sais quoi – a delight of unknown origin) from herbs and other botanicals. Herbs do contain some of the most potent of nature’s medicines, and the flavors and fragrances you experience are those potent antioxidants that provide health-enhancing benefits like calming inflammation and helping to make your internal environment resilient.
How to Make Herbal Water
The recipe is so straight forward – it’s really more of a reminder.
Herbal water passes on the sugar and expense of soda and soothes your senses with some of the most potent of nature's medicines - phytonutrients.
Cuisine Plant Medicine
Keyword Herbal Water, Recipes, Plant Medicine
Prep Time 15 minutesminutes
Steeping time 6 hourshours
1 quartwaterclean, filtered
1 /2cupherbs & flavorings any edible fresh herb, root, flower or spice
Fill a one-quart glass pitcher with water.
Place herbs and flavorings in something that will allow their suspension in the water - a clean small cloth bag, for example - I have a pitcher made just for sun-tea, with a plastic cylinder attached to the lid. A tea-ball would do the trick. There are an array of options available commercially.
Place pitcher containing herbs on a sunny windowsill or a sunny spot free from critters.
Leave for at least an hour, preferably several hours.
Remove herbs/flavorers, and enjoy as is or over ice. Keeps refrigerated for about a week.
This is one of those non-recipe recipes - perhaps it's more a technique. But, having a quart of herbal water around is a wonderful direct and simple way to connect with what is blooming or at it's peak in my yard. Simple refreshing plant medicine.
Here are a few of my favorite herbal water combos I’ve tried over several summers:
Fresh ginger and English mint – refreshing and delicious
Lavender and blueberries – sweet and soothing
Cilantro – like a light green drink – tastes cleansing
Watermelon and lime – sweet and tangy and what is it about watermelon that just makes me happy?
What’s Your Favorite Herbal Water Combo?
If the idea of botanical cooking appeals, check out Kami McBride’s book, Herbal Kitchen. It’s an inspiration, a classic and uses botanicals in a variety of creative ways, from herbal waters to soups to cordials and even bathing and beauty non-products. Check her out!
If you live in New England, this has been a chilly – OK freezing – spring. Our minds are thinking of fresh herbs and lightening up, but our palates crave warmth. It’s an excellent time for a fresh curry. Here’s a favorite: Pork Tenderloin Cauliflower Curry. You have here a one skillet meal, my friends, that takes about twenty minutes.
My beloved husband has, over the past year or so, become quite a connoisseur of quality food for less $. Do you know how sexy that is for a dietitian? Quite. I have become a student of his method of finding excellent quality food deals locally. It involves knowing when the local shopper’s guide comes out and knowing what’s on special. In last week’s supermarket circular, there was a two-for-one offer of pork tenderloins (and organic chicken breasts, by the way). Who knew?
Pork tenderloin is a lean and healthful meat, particularly when raised as nature intended – on a small farm with love and a varied diet. Here’s what I did with half of a pork tenderloin. This Pork Tenderloin Cauliflower Curry recipe is easy to modify. You may of course eliminate the pork and sub tofu or beans for a vegan curry. Chicken and shrimp are also easy substitutes.
Pork tenderloin is a lean and healthful meat, particularly when raised as nature intended – on a small farm with love and a varied diet
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Keyword cauliflower, Curry, Pork Tenderloin
1/2lbPork Tenderloinsliced into bite-sized pieces
1small head cauliflowercut into bite-sized florets
1cupasparagussnapped into bite-sized pieces
12ozcan coconut milk
2Tbspred curry paste
2Tbspchopped Thai or regular basil
Coat the bottom of a large skillet over medium-high heat with sesame oil, add pork pieces and sear, turning, for about 4 minutes.
Turn head down to medium. Add cauliflower and saute for 4 minutes.
Add asparagus, coconut milk (give the can a good shake before you open it)
Stir in curry paste and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Slice into one of the pork pieces to make sure it is cooked through – no pink on the inside. When pork is cooked through, the cauliflower is soft, and asparagus is bright and al-dente (still has some firmness), top with basil and serve as is or over brown rice or another grain.
A Materia Medica is a library of medicine, usually botanicals. Herbal books and websites often have an area where the health and medicinal qualities of particular plants are gathered. Likewise, many cookbooks have a section that focuses on the use and perhaps benefits of particular ingredients. Herbalists and cooks have great respect for the qualities of each plant. My recipes use whole food plant based ingredients which are naturally healthful. Certain foods and plants carry specific health and healing gifts, and by knowing who you are, and who your ingredients are, you can surround yourself with delicious foods that keep you in balance.
Over the next year, I’ll be building my materia medica of botanicals and plants with particular healing gifts. I will include a roundup of Western literature, as well as herbal and folk wisdom, and the plant-spirit energy template of the plant. Plants have so much to teach us, and we can heal so deeply from getting to know them as individuals and arranging them in choruses as recipes.
For your pleasure! Enjoy the journey!