Leek is a super winter vegetable that plays a leading role in several dishes like soups, one-course meals and side dishes. It’s a low-energy-dense food and contains various vitamins and minerals, therefore it makes our nourishment variegated during the winter season without eating too many calories.
Leek’s origin can’t be clearly determined. This plant closely related to onion and garlic has accompanied the history of mankind, it had been cultivated by the Assyrians, the Egyptians and the Chinese, as well. Hippocrates described leek as a digestif and diuretic vegetable. It has also a good effect on respiratory diseases.
Each type of onion has the ability to lose its sharp taste during cooking and a sweet flavour takes over its place. Leek passes through the changing of tastes, though it collapses, but due to its lower water content it substantially retains its original texture.
In the following recipe nutmeg and white wine are those ingredients that make the leek soup racy by emphasizing the leek’s delicate sweetness.
- 600 g (~1 1/3 lb) leek, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 30 g (~2 tbsp) butter
- 100 ml (~1/2 cup) dry white wine
- 100 ml (~1/2 cup) water
- 1 l (~4 cups) chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1,5 tsp. salt
- pinch of nutmeg
- 300 ml (~1 1/4 cups) cream
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
In a soup pot heat up the olive oil and melt the butter, then add the thinly sliced leek and the chopped garlic.
Fry it for a couple of minutes while stirring frequently. Don’t let it burn.
Reduce the heat, pour in the water and white wine, add salt and pepper. Cover the pot, and steam until leek becomes tender, but not overcooked.
Add the chicken broth and bring it to boil. Grate a little nutmeg into the soup and cook for 15 minutes to let the flavours merge.
With a hand blender warily puree the leek. It’s up to you if you make the soup smooth or you prefer if the soup contains small pieces of leek.
Mix up the starch with the cream. Pour into the soup and cook for 3 minutes.
Serve hot and with croutons if you like them.