And if it's not fall where you live, then forget I said anything.
This soup is creamy and super filling while still managing to be made of mostly plants, whole ingredients, and it also happens to be vegan. Well, it's vegan unless you decide to eat this topped with a little Parmesan or alongside a grilled cheese sandwich. You do you.
This soup is truly delicious, and my favorite part—it makes just enough for two plus another serving so someone gets a great lunch the next day. Hide it in the back of the refrigerator if you have a dispute with your partner over it. Just a little life hack for you. 😉
1 leek (Once cut, I had about 4.5 oz to mine, but this can vary.)
10 baby carrots* (2 oz.)
1 celery stalk (1 oz.)
1 large russet potato (Mine was 1 pound after peeling. The size can vary some, but get a larger sized one if you can.)
2 cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper
3 cups water
1 can (15.8 oz.) white beans (I used great northern.)
1 tablespoon chopped dill
1 handful (about half an ounce) kale, optional
*You can certainly use regular (full) sized carrots. I just always buy baby carrots since we are more likely to snack on them if I buy this size. I've provided the weight so you can easily change this out if you have or prefer to buy regular sized carrots—doesn't matter. 🙂
Remove the top (green leafy part) and bottom roots of the leek and slice thin. Also chop up the carrots, celery, and peel and cube the potato. In a large pot over medium/high heat, add the olive oil and those vegetables. Season with the cumin and some salt and pepper. Don't go crazy with the salt at this stage as we will add more later when we can taste the soup. (So we can add just enough without making it too salty—I've made this mistake too many times to count. Ha!) Cook until the leeks are very soft and the potatoes are just beginning to soften, about 6-8 minutes.
Add the water and bay leaf, cover, reduce the heat to a low simmer, and continue to cook for an hour. You should be able to easily mash a potato piece with the side of a large wooden spoon against the side of the pot by the end of the cooking time here. Remove the bay leaf.
Working in batches, use a good blender to puree the soup, or you can use an immersion blender.
Drain and rinse the beans and add them to the pureed soup as it's still cooking over low heat. Taste and now season with as much salt and pepper as you think it needs. After about 10 minutes, giving the beans time to warm up, add the chopped dill and finely chopped kale if using. I really like the kale here. It just gives this soup a bit more life, but if you don't want to buy kale just to use a small amount, you can leave it out (spinach would work well too).
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman.