New day, new challenge! Today’s item on the Produce Challenge calendar is the Leek.
**Full Disclosure: I had NEVER purchased a Leek prior to today’s Challenge.**
Recipe: Curried Leek and Apple Soup – From Lavender & Lovage
Serves 4 Prep Time: 15 Minutes Cook Time: 35 Minutes Total Time: 50 Minutes
- 1 teaspoon rapeseed oil
- 2 teaspoons curry powder (mild or hot, according to taste)
- 3 small leeks, trimmed, washed and finely chopped
- 100g potato, peeled and finely diced
- 2 cooking apples, peeled cored and chopped (or tart eating apples)
- 600mls vegetable stock
- 4 tablespoons low-fat natural yogurt
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh chives, chopped (as a garnish)
- 1: Melt the oil in a large saucepan and add the curry powder – cook for a minute (or so) until the curry powder has formed a paste and smells aromatic. Add: leeks, potato and apples. Saute for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
- 2: Add the stock and then cover with a lid and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
- 3: Transfer the soup to a food processor and blend until smooth.
- 4: Return the soup to the saucepan and reheat – make sure the soup doesn’t boil.
- 5: Serve the soup with a swirl of yogurt over the top and some fresh chives as a garnish
Although I’d never bought or cooked with leeks before, I did know what they were and where to find them in the grocery store. So, I made my way over and picked out my 3 small leeks (or at least the smallest ones I could find). Everything else on the shopping list was pretty easy to find, with the exception of rapeseed oil. What I found out, is that generally speaking, I could use Canola Oil in its place – They have their differences, but for this, Canola will work.
Once I got home, it was time to cook! The recipe calls for the leeks to be “trimmed, washed & finely chopped.” For someone who has never cooked with them before, it was a little confusing – I mean, how much do I actually use? Believe it or not, there’s an entire video on The Produce Moms website – Leeks 101: How to Clean, Cut & Cook. This was the most useful tool I used for my recipe – I LOVE when someone shows me exactly what to do!
For my apples, I chose to use Honeycrisp. The Honeycrisp, although very sweet, still has a bit of tartness to it. In addition, it’s a juicy apple which adds to a smooth consistency of the soup. As for the 100g potato, I picked a medium size Russet to use. (100g = .22lb) The way I figured it, even if it was a little bigger than what was called for, it would add some thickness to my soup.
Prep/Cook Time = Accurate – maybe even a little less on the prep work
If you aren’t in a hurry, this would be a great Crockpot recipe too. Toss everything in, set on low for a couple hours and make the house smell amazing!
Overall, this soup has GREAT flavor! If you’re not sure on how much spice you can handle, I would recommend using a little less curry powder. I like spice, so I increased the amount I used. Also, I tried the soup as it was coming out of the food processor, and it was good. But, it was even better once I added the yogurt and chives! To add a little texture, you can also top with some sliced almonds.