Leek is one of the most versatile foods to include in our kitchen
Leek and Apple Vichysoisse
The leek is one of my favorite vegetables. Like onions and garlic, leeks belong to the «Allium» family, but, in my opinion and thanks to the soft taste, they are much more versatile in cooking. If you ever used leeks to make a broth, be prepared because you are about to discover a new and delicious way to prepare it.
Extra virgin olive oil
Raw Cashew Nuts
Big Reineta Apple
Salt and pepper
Leeks have properties very similar to garlic and onion, a unique combination of flavonoids (antioxidants) and sulfur-containing nutrients. For people who avoid onion and garlic due to its content of FODMAP’S (vegetable foods rich in fermentable short chain carbohydrates such as oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols), they can always keep the green part of the leek . These parts have a green onion flavor with hints of garlic and can be used cooked or raw.
If that is not our case, we can use the whole leek (white parts, pale green and green), although we often use to discard the green leaves. Leeks can be stewed, fried, roasted, boiled, sauteed or cut into thin slices and eaten raw in salads. Leeks are a typical ingredient of French cuisine, but they are common in other countries and dishes as well as being a fantastic onion substitute.
Today’s recipe is a version of a classic vichyssoise, one of the simplest and most popular soups and perfect for winter. Few ingredients, economical and quick to make. With this version we get a slightly more sophisticated result but just as comforting and that in all likelihood it will become one of those basic dishes in your kitchen. As we do not use milk or cream, we are going to get creaminess and that dairy touch with two ingredients: the red potato and the cashews. In addition we will add a reinette apple, one of the quintessential fruits of autumn, allowing a more fresh and fruity result, with a very, very soft acid touch that makes it delicious as a whole.
Depending on whether we serve it alone or incorporate in the plating some protein such as egg, whole grains (brown rice, quinoa …) or some sauteed vegetables such as spinach, mushrooms and nuts, it can be a light first or a single dish that It will leave us satisfied.
How to prepare the leek and apple Vichysoisse
1. Clean the leeks under the tap, detaching the outer layer to remove any dirt they may have. Then cut them into not very thin slices. Peel the garlic clove. Peel and cut the potatoes into small cubes. Leave the apple for the end, peel it, discourage it and cut it into cubes at the last moment to prevent it from rusting too much.
2. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add the sliced leeks, garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously so that the leeks soften but do not brown in excess, this way our cream will have a whiter color.
3. Add the potatoes, apples and bay leaf, and continue stirring for a couple of minutes. Add the cashews and hot water and cook for 15 minutes: the soup is ready when the potatoes can easily be punctured with a fork. Remove the bay leaf.
4. Using an immersion blender or better yet, a glass or robot blender, puree the soup until smooth. Taste the soup and season with more salt if necessary.
In this case we place with a poached egg, ground pistachios, lemon thyme and olive oil, but you can present it as you like. I love how the strong onion flavor softens when simmering. The way in which the onion flavor of leeks is softened also sweetens when cooked over low heat.
As I told you, it is a most versatile vegetable: from nutritious soups and salads to quiche pastries, au gratin or as part of the stuffed lasagna, croquettes or vegetable patties. We can also use the outer leaves as a cannelloni that we can fill and ultimately obtain recipes as good as healthy.
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