It's been a blustery weekend. Grey more often than not, bursts of hard rain followed by smaller spurts and drizzles, wind gusts last night that rattled up against the slats of the jalousie windows of my house and woke me up a few times. Of course this being Hawaii, the sun keeps making an appearance between showers to remind me where I live or maybe just to tease and taunt a bit. I am not complaining--I like blustery, and I like the rainier than average days here--they are a pleasant break from the norm and they are optimal soup weather.
I have been reading/cooking from Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking by Mary McCartney (daughter of Paul and Linda McCartney). It's full of simple, meat-free food, beautifully photographed by Mary. I loved her Coconut Rice Pudding which I made with dried cherries and pistachios. This simple soup caught my eye. Leeks always appeal to me--few ingredients smell better when they hit a pan with butter or oil. With the leeks and the zucchini, this soup warms the body and soul and seems to beckon sunnier days.
I did make a couple of changes to the recipe--noted in red below.
Mary says, "I love the subtle blend of flavors in this soup. If I don't have any zucchini, I sometimes use green beans instead and that works really well."
Leek, Zucchini and White Bean Soup
Adapted from Food by Mary McCartney
(Makes Aprox. 4 Servings)
2 Tbsp olive oil (I used 1 Tbsp coconut oil)
2 medium leeks, trimmed, ashed and finely chopped
2 medium zucchini (aprox. 14 oz), finely diced
1 stalk celery, trimmed and finely chopped
15 oz can white beans (I added a second can of cannellini beans at the end)
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs (I added 1 tsp Herbes de Provence: savory, thyme, rosemary, basil, tarragon and lavender flowers)
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Gently fry leeks until they are soft and golden, about 7 minutes. Stir in zucchini, celery and white beans and fry another 4 minutes or so. Pour in vegetable stock and add herbs, mixing well. Cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
Puree with a handheld blender or cool soup slightly and puree in batches in a blender. (Or serve soup chunky depending on preference.) (Because I like a mix of brothy/chunky/pureed, I blended about 2/3 of the soup and then added an additional can of beans to the mix and cooked it for another 10 minutes.) Reheat if needed, taste for seasoning and add salt or black pepper if needed. Serve.
Notes/Results: This is one of those soups that makes you feel nourished and cared for just by eating it. Thick, brothy, beany, with a savory herbal flavor. It was by accident that I added a teaspoon of the herbes de Provence instead of the 1/2 teaspoon called for but I think the soup benefited from it. I also liked the texture with deciding to blend a good portion of it, then add another can of beans to the mix after blending. It gave it a satisfying chunkiness but with enough of the broth so that it wasn't too smooth and mushy--so I would keep that change as well. In the photo in the book it looked as though Mary McCartney had stirred a touch of cream in the soup and I liked the look of it so I used a bit of coconut creamer on top of mine to keep it vegan. If you don't care about that I think some grated parmesan would also be lovely on top. I would make this again.
Just one friend waiting in the Souper Sundays kitchen this week, lets see what she brought.
Tigerfish of Teczcape - An Escape to Food made this Cordyceps Chicken Soup (cordyceps is a type of mushroom/fungi) and says, "It was the first and last time I bought cordyceps. Rather, Mom bought them...for me.Gosh. So super duper exorbitantly expensive! I was not aware of the cordyceps "market situation". It was the last time as I will not be consuming it regularly for its claimed benefits (even if what good it does to the body is indeed true). Often the classic cordyceps chicken soup is doubled-boiled with chicken, cordyceps, sometimes with red dates and gojiberries. However, I did it quite differently - without dates and gojiberries. Instead, some carrots and woodear mushrooms were added to my version
(which is actually an idea inspired by a friend). Luckily, the
soup turned out great without being overpowered by the sweetness of
carrots and earthiness of mushrooms."
Thanks to Tigerfish for joining 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 my sidebar for all of the details.
Have a happy, healthy week!