Potato Leek Soup has been on my ‘to-make’ list for some time now, and I’m so thrilled to share this version that I’ve perfected and simplified over the years … and it also happens to be vegan!
If you’ve followed me for awhile you’ll know that I LOVE making soup. It’s such a great way to use up extra veggies, cooks in one pot, is super healthy and my kids almost always love it (there have been some flops, let’s be real). Some of their favourites to-date have been my Cheater Chicken Noodle Soup, my 10 Minute Corn Chowder … and now this one! I wasn’t totally sure how Max and Charlie would take to this one, as it seemed like a bit of a grown up soup… I figured they would take a pass to be honest. Man, was I wrong! They both gobbled it up and Charlie made a massive fuss when I told him he had just finished the last bowl the other day (at which point I proceeded to make another batch of course, it’s such a win when you find something healthy that they love!). So, we’re on our second pot of this soup this week and nobody is showing any signs of tiring of it! Even Max gobbled it up (and for the record, he’s a fussy 2 year old just like most others of his age!).
This is a really simple soup, but are a few things that I’ve learned along the way that I think would be valuable to share to save you the headache of repeating my mistakes. First, you want to ‘sweat’ your leeks, but no brown them. I made this mistake during one of my trials, and my soup ended up looking like something you would serve in prison (no joke). Lower heat and a dose of patience is key. Also, I used Russet potatoes which I highly recommend. They are starchier and less gummy, which yields a nicer soup consistency.
I used cashew cream to give the soup that extra richness and I promise that you won’t miss the traditional addition of whipping cream. The cashew cream contains healthier unsaturated fats vs the standard whipping cream with all the richness…. and it’s a breeze to whip up! Potatoes get a bad rap, but are in fact a good source of nutrients such as fibre, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and potassium, and leeks are a source of prebiotics (food for the healthy bugs in your gut) and iron which is a nutrient that should be on your radar if eating a plant-based diet.
The addition of nutritional yeast is completely optional, but it gives the soup an extra cheesy flavour and a kick of vitamin B12 (important if you are on a plant based diet). We loved it with and without it for the record.
I hope your family gobbles up this soup like ours did! It can be made in advance and refrigerated for easy entertaining (bonus!), and would be a perfect starter for your next holiday dinner party!
Happy cooking my friends!
Potato Leek Soup (vegan)
Creamy potato leek soup is perfect for your next dinner party and can be made in advance! This vegan version uses a few simple ingredients to let the flavours of the ingredients shine. The addition of the nutritional yeast is optional, but gives the soup an added cheesy flavour and a kick of vitamin B12!
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 1/2 lb. leeks (4-5 large leeks)
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 1 1/2 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
- 10 cups vegetable broth*
- 2/3 cup flaked nutritional yeast (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- chives, for garnish (optional)
Place the cashews in a large glass measuring cup or bowl and pour boiling water on top of them. Let them soak for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the ends and the dark green parts off of the leeks (you will end up with around 1 pound of leeks once you cut these parts off) and slice the leeks cross-ways into 1/2-inch pieces. Place the sliced leeks in a colander and rinse well (leeks tend to hide a lot of dirt in them). Set the leeks aside.
In a large heavy-bottomed soup pot or cocotte (I used a Staub cocotte), heat the olive oil and vegan butter on medium-low heat. Add the leeks and cook stirring occasionally, until they are soft and have 'sweat', approximately 10 minutes. Be sure to avoid browning the leeks. Add the celery and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the celery is softened.
While the soup is cooking, drain the cashews and place in a high-powered blender with 1 cup of water. Blend until smooth, around 2 minutes, and set aside.
Add the potatoes and broth, bring to a simmer, and cover the pot with a lid. Cook until the potatoes are soft, approximately 30-40 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and carefully puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth.
Add the cashew cream and nutritional yeast (if using), stir well, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately and garnish with chives. You can store the soup in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
*I like to use the Better than Bouillon chicken-flavoured vegetable concentrate. I bought mine at Choices Market in Kelowna