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L is For Leeks

I know we already published M is for Mushroom but my mistake I forgot to publish this delicious vegetable first! – Anisa

Vegetables from A to Z
By Hannah Marcotti

I’m going to share with you a little secret.

Writing recipes is not an easy thing for me. One simple reason, I don’t like to measure. I love watching cooking shows, they almost never measure anything. That is how I cook. Measuring takes me out of my flow in the kitchen. But measure I do, to be able to share my food explorations with you!LisforLeek
I don’t always hit the mark, I just take chances. Example, peanut sauce over dark greens the other night for dinner. It was so salty it never made it to my husband’s plate. I made my daughter be the guinea pig and she said, “Well maybe without the greens it would be better.”

What I’m trying to tell you is that recipes are a gauge. You adjust them to your taste and preferences. Think of them as inspiration; recipe inspiration to use what you have on hand and experiment.

Now let’s talk leeks. This overlooked gorgeous vegetable really should have a place in your kitchen. In the family of onions and garlic, it can stand in if you are out of either. The edible part is the white and light green, as it becomes dark green it is too tough to digest. You can compost the dark green tops. Leeks have folic acid, calcium, potassium, vitamin C and are easier to digest than onions. Cleaning the leek is important as dirt can get between the layers as it grows. Remove the tough dark green top, trim the bottom off and slice in half length wise. Cut into ½ inch pieces and submerge into a bowl of cold water. The dirt will fall to the bottom and you will have clean leeks.

Leeks and soup go together for me. Growing up with potato leek soup, I remember that creamy texture with the fragrant sweet smell of the leeks. Leeks are great in any soup adding a subtle taste and are easier on the palate of discerning children than onions.  Remember to use my recipe as inspiration and see where it will take you.

This is a fast recipe that gets better in the fridge for the next day. A simple supper with this soup, and perhaps some avocado and cucumber salad on the side, will work for me! Go green power.

Sunny Leek and Mung Bean Soup

Olive oil
2 small leeks or 1 large, cut into ½ inch pieces and cleaned
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 TB paprika
2 TB tahini
1 tsp honey
1 cup mung beans (find these in the bulk section of health food stores)
6-8 cups of chicken stock or vege stock
½ cup parsley, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute the leeks, carrots, celery and garlic in olive oil until tender. Add paprika, tahini and honey and cook gently for 1 minute. Add mung beans and stock (you can vary the amount depending on if you prefer a thicker or thinner soup), bring soup to a simmer, turn down low and cover. Cook soup for about 2 hours, turn off heat and add parsley and lemon. Enjoy!

PS All of my picky kids ate this one and asked for more!

Hannah Marcotti is a Holistic Health Counselor who helps women achieve and maintain their ideal weight, find more energy for their lives, figure out the food that works for their body type and ease family meal time chaos! For more health tips and recipes sign up for her free e-newsletter at  Hannah’s Harvest, (www.hannahsharvest.com).

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  • Thank you Erin. We have been using leftover chicken soup and then turning it into this soup. We just add leeks, paprika, tahini and lemon to the chicken soup and it is even better. It’s been a staple lately.

  • LOVE this! i’m not a recipe person either.

    and i find every recipe i’ve received from you (your blog, your newsletter, and here) to be really adaptable and always SO YUMMY!!!