Sunday, October 6, 2013

Leek & Potato Soup with Watercress: Creamy & Satisfying for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I love potato and leek soups--they represent total comfort food to me. This version from Wild About Greens: 125 Delectable Vegan Recipes for Kale, Collards, Arugula, Bok Choy, and other Leafy Veggies Everyone Loves by Nava Atlas. There are so many delicious-sounding recipes for soups, salads, casseroles, an beverages with healthy greens in this book but, the Leek and Potato Soup with Watercress is the one that called to me first. 

Watercress is a powerhouse green that contains more vitamin C than oranges, four times more beta-carotene and vitamin A than apples, tomatoes and broccoli and is believed to have healing and tonic properties in addition to all those vitamins. Perfect to sneak into a bowl of creamy vegan soup.

Leek & Potato Soup with Watercress 
From Wild About Greens by Nava Atlas
(Serves 6)

1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil 
3 large leeks, white & palest green parts only, chopped and rinsed well
4 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1 bay leaf
2 vegetable bouillon cubes (I used no-chicken soup base)
1 cup packed watercress leaves
1 to 1 1/2 cups rice milk
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, more or less, to taste

Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add the leeks and saute over medium heat, covered, until they just begin to turn golden. Stir occasionally. 

Add the potatoes, bay leaf, bouillon cubes, and just enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer, then simmer gently, covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes. 

Mash some of the potatoes against the side of the pot with the back of a spoon and stir back into the soup to thicken it. Add the watercress and rice milk, and simmer over very low heat for 10 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper.

Allow the soup to stand off the heat for an hour or two before serving, or let it cool and refrigerate overnight. Heat through before serving. Stir in the parsley. If needed, adjust the consistency with more rice milk, and adjust the seasonings.  (Cook's note: Atlas says, "If you can make this the night before it's needed, so much the better, since the flavors improve from standing overnight.")

Notes/Results: A tasty bowl of soup. I like the peppery bites of arugula mixed in with the slightly sweet leeks and tender Yukon Gold potatoes. The texture is creamy, without being too thick and keeping the soup from being too heavy. It is satisfying enough to please veg-friendly meat lovers alike for lunch or a light dinner. I would make this again.

We have plenty soups and salads awaiting in the Souper Sundays kitchen this week--let's take a look. 

Mireille of Chef Mireille's Global Creations brings this hearty Itakiet Stew (Nigerian Bean Stew) and says, "Maddhur Jaffrey has been publishing cookbooks since the 1970's. She is credited with popularizing Indian cuisine in the United States. I own two of her cookbooks. This Nigerian recipe is from World Vegetarian, which includes vegetarian recipes from around the world. This was hearty and delicious with some cornbread."

Judee from Gluten Free A-Z Blog is back with Savory Butternut Squash Soup and says, "I usually don't eat Butternut squash soup because it is paired with sweeteners,cream and apples; this soup is not, and it's lower in calories! It is savory and is  made with onions, carrots, and garlic.. I first tasted this nutritious soup at my sister in law Danielle's house for a holiday. For me, it was love at first bite. The soup is soothing, absolutely delicious, and filling."

Also getting "squashy" is Sandra from Meadows Cooks with fall-friendly Butternut Squash Apple Soup. She says, "I want to love squash but it just isn't that simple. Not as strong as my tomato aversion but along those lines. ... I think it has to do with the texture - which was the same problem with the tomatoes - too mealy, or something. This is why I like to use them in soups. Texture is not an issue. I tried this soup before putting in the milk and it was fine (image above) but it was head over heels better with the milk (I realized I can use the coconut milk in my cupboard and it made all the difference)."

I am usually a one soup a week girl here at Kahakai Kitchen but, I made this delectable Coconut and Salmon Laksa to accompany a foodie book review and had to share it in the round-up. From Donna Hay, this was quick and easy with store-bought laksa paste. The chunks of moist, tender salmon in the flavorful and slightly spicy curry broth with lots of thick rice noodles made for a fabulous dinner.   

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor made this tangy Lemon Marinated Artichoke Salad and says, "I loved this salad. It was a meal all on it's own. Unfortunately I didn't check the cheese drawer before prepping the recipe and turns out, I was out of feta. It was delicious with a mozzarella substitute but I will be making this one again (and again) and certainly will compare the results with feta. The grilled zucchini was a nice touch."

Tigerfish of Teczcape - An Escape to Food shares this fast-cooking grain salad and says, "Sometimes it is much easier to put together a dish like this Roasted Vegetables Couscous when there is no desire to stand behind a stove for even 15 minutes. With leftover pesto (previously frozen) thawed, roasted Brussel sprouts and organic red bell peppers, this dish can be prepared and cooked without much effort."

Janet of The Taste Space shares another hearty salad dish made with grains, these Indian-Spiced Baked Onions with Cumin-Dill Quinoa. She says, "This is a simple yet somewhat elaborate quinoa pilaf salad spiced with cumin and dill. Leave it at that, and it would a pretty simple side salad. However, the suggested Indian-spiced baked onions make this a special treat. I don’t know about you, but I love roasted vegetables and really like somewhat charred roasted onions. I always have onions on hand and it takes next to no effort to add them to a pan to roast. However, these are more than simple roasted onions. A quick saute with cumin, fennel and mustard seeds transforms them into a veritable Indian party."

Pam from Sidewalk Shoes tried this Spinach Salad with Dried Cherries and says, "I admit when it comes to salads, I am lazy.  They are usually an afterthought.  I only use them when I feel I need to boost the main course a bit.  Usually they are just some lettuce tossed on a plate with some oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.  If I have some I might add some tomatoes or cucumbers, but usually it’s lettuce.  Just lettuce. ...with this salad, I may have removed myself from lazy salads forever.  With just a few extra minutes some baby spinach turns into something so delightful.  The addition of the toasted pumpkin seeds adds a lovely nutty crunch and the tart cherries are the perfect tart/sweet chewiness."

Finally my pal Kim of Stirring the Pot shares this Cashew Chicken Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing from Donna Hay. She says, "Whenever I see a recipe for any kind of nut-crusted chicken I'm completely sold.  Something about that pairing gets me every single time.  Combine that with my favorite dressing, honey mustard, and it's a total win.  I loved this salad.  It was simple and straightforward and it totally hit the spot!"

Thanks to everyone who joined in this week! If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the side bar for all of the details.

Have a happy, healthy week!



  1. www.teczcape.blogspot.comOctober 6, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Love your addition of watercress in the leek potato soup! Thanks for the round up

  2. I had no idea watercress had so many nutritive properties! Definitely need to incorporate it more into cooking. Such a comfort food kinda soup!

  3. Pam Armstrong GreerOctober 7, 2013 at 12:58 AM

    What a great roundup. I love watercress, but can't find it very often.

  4. A DElicious roundup!!

  5. I'm just about ready to plant my arugula again. Seasons in Texas are so weird! The soup sounds great - mmmmm!

  6. Hi Deb, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris


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