In this tasty Cream of Leek Soup, I've used swede and cauliflower to create a creamy thick consistency in place of white starchy potatoes that usually make up the base of regular leek soup recipes. Leeks are a liver cleansing vegetable that helps rid the body of environmental toxins and excess fats, they also boost the immune system.
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Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the sliced leek and saute until softened but not brown, then add the garlic, cinnamon and nutmeg and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the swede and chicken broth and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes.
Add the cauliflower, salt and pepper and simmer for a further 15 - 20 minutes or until all the vegetables have softened.
Pour in the coconut milk and stir.
Transfer the soup to a blender, work in batches until all the soup is blended and smooth. If you find the soup is a bit too thick, add a little more broth.
Check the seasonings and adjust to your liking.
Serve and garnish with chopped parsley and bacon if desired.
Coconut oil is one of the most nutritious fats to cook and bake with. Use organic extra-virgin coconut oil which is unrefined and unbleached from non GMO coconuts. Coconut oil has a high smoking point and it is slow to oxidize due to its high saturated fat content, thus, resistant to going rancid. Some studies suggest coconut oil helps with digestion, including irritable bowel, tummy bugs, candida and parasites due to this oil containing short term medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), which is a healthy form of saturated fat.
Leek is a vegetable that belongs to the onion and garlic family. The edible part of the leek is the white base called the stem or stalk, the leaf sheath needs to be removed before eating. Leeks have a sweet, mild onion flavour and are commonly used in stock and soups. Leeks contain many flavonoid anti-oxidants, minerals and vitamins that have proven health benefits.
Garlic is a close relative to the onion and has been used throughout history for both medicinal and culinary purposes. In most of my recipes I use minced garlic as I find it distributes better throughout the dish. When in a hurry I use organic minced garlic which I purchase in glass jars and store in the fridge. When garlic powder is needed for a particular recipe, I use 'Simply Organic' brand. Why is garlic so good for us? It is an immune booster, antibiotic, good for the heart, cancer fighter and it's also knew as a weight loss aid (appetite suppressant).
I am sure you will notice as you read my recipes that cinnamon appears quite frequently. It lends itself to savoury and sweet dishes. I have used ground cinnamon in my recipes if not stated otherwise. The best cinnamon to use is Ceylon (Verum). It has huge health benefits in regulating blood sugar levels. Cinnamon has antifungal properties and candida (yeast overgrowth) cannot live in a cinnamon environment. Added to food it inhibits bacterial growth, making it a natural food preservative and these are just a few of the benefits.
Nutmeg is the seed kernel of the fruit-nutmeg. The seed is dried and ground. It is one of the highly prized spices known for its aromatic, aphrodisiac and curative properties. Nutmeg is a good source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium.
The vegetable swede is also know as rutabaga in North America. Swede is a root vegetable that is a similar shape to a turnip but larger, it's flavour is sweeter than a turnip and cream in colour, with some purple on top. The leaves can be eaten as a leaf vegetable. Swede is an excellent substitute for white potato, it can be roasted, baked, boiled, mashed, sauteed and delicious added to soups and stews. Swede can also be thinly julienned or grated uncooked and added to salads or coleslaw. It's a winter vegetable and stores well. Swede is high in vitamin C and provides antioxidants and immune support, helping protect the cells from free radical damage and assists in the thyroid hormone thyroxine. Swedes are rich in beta carotene and also an excellent source of iron, potassium and manganese, a good source of fiber, thiamin, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
Making homemade chicken broth is a great way to heal Leaky Gut and excellent to drink when unwell. Traditionally broth was made just from bones and simmered for hours to remove the gelatin, marrow and goodness from them. These days vegetables are also added to give extra flavour. By using a slow cooker, making your own broth/stock is so easy. As soon as a roast chicken is eaten, all the bones go into the freezer ready for the next batch of broth. If purchasing store-bought stocks, read the labels as many companies have changed the name of MSG to yeast extract. Organic or free-range brands are available. My Chicken broth recipe is on page 295 of The JOYful Table cookbook. Freeze ice block trays filled with chicken broth for when a small amount is required for a recipe. You can also use an organic concentrated bone broth paste or dehydrated chicken bone broth powder and add them to filtered water.
Cauliflower is one of the cruciferous vegetables that should be eaten on a regular basis, as it has huge health benefits. One cup of cooked cauliflower provides you with 73% of your DRI of vitamin C, it's also a good source of vitamin K. You will find several dozen studies linking cauliflower to cancer prevention.
Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.
Black and white pepper both come from the fruit of a tropical vine. Black pepper is the cooked and dried unripe fruit, know as a peppercorn and white pepper is from the ripe fruit seed. Pepper is usually coupled with salt, sprinkled over or added to food.
I use this extensively throughout my recipes; from soups to dinners to desserts and cakes. I think it is the best dairy-free alternative. It gives so much flavour and creaminess to a wide variety of dishes. See coconut milk recipe on page 299 of The JOYful Table cookbook. If purchasing in the can read your labels, even some organic brands contain gums and thickeners, choose full-fat not low-fat versions. I use Honest To Goodness organic cream 400ml and Ayam which isn't organic but has no additives or thickeners and is much creamier and thicker than other brands (that's why I love it), it comes in 400ml, 270ml and 140ml size cans.
Parsley would be the most widely used herb worldwide. Curly leaf parsley is often used as a garnish. Fresh parsley contains useful amounts of vitamin C, calcium, iron and potassium. Parsley is also high in bioflavonoids and other anticancer compounds.