Healthy and seasonal recipes: Leek and apple Vichysoisse
Leek is one of the most versatile foods to include in our kitchen
Leek is one of my favorite vegetables. Like onion and garlic, leeks belong to the «Allium» family but, in my opinion and thanks to their mild flavor, they are much more versatile in the kitchen. If you’ve ever used leeks to make a broth, brace yourself because you’re about to discover a delicious new way to make it.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp
- Large leeks
- Garlic clove
- Red potatoes
- Raw cashew nuts
- ¾ cup
- Large pippin apple
- 6-8 cups
- Salt and pepper
- To taste
- A leaf
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 their content of FODMAP’S (plant foods rich in fermentable short chain carbohydrates such as oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols), alwaysthey can 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, pale green and green parts), although we often discard the green leaves. Leeks can be braised, fried, roasted, boiled, sauteed, or thinly sliced 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 substitute for onion.
Today’s recipe is a version of a classic vichyssoise, one of the simplest and most popular soups and perfect for winter. Few ingredients, inexpensive and quick to make. With this version we achieve a result that is a little more sophisticated but just as comforting and that in all probability will become one of those basic dishes in your kitchen. What we do not use milk or cream, we are going to get the creaminess and that dairy touch with two ingredients: the red potato and the cashews. We will also add a pippin apple, one of the fruits par excellence of autumn, allowing a fresher and more 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 some protein such as eggs, whole grains (brown rice, quinoa …) or some sautéed vegetables such as spinach, mushrooms and nuts into the plate, it may be a light first or a unique dish that will leave us satisfied.
How to prepare the leek and apple Vichysoisse
1. Clean the leeks under the tap, peeling off the outer layer to remove any soil 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 last, peel it, core it and cut it into cubes at the last minute to prevent it from oxidizing too much.
2. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the sliced leeks, garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, continuously stirring so that the leeks soften but do not brown excessively, in 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 be easily pierced 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 serve with a poached egg, ground pistachios, lemon thyme and olive oil, but you can present it as you like. I love how he strong onion flavor softens when cooking over low heat. The way the onion flavor of leeks is softened also sweetens when simmered.
As I told you, it is a vegetable of the most versatile: from nutritious soups and salads to quiche-style cakes, gratins or as part of lasagna fillings, croquettes or vegetable patties. We can also use the outer leaves as cannelloni that we can fill and ultimately get recipes as good as they are healthy.