One of my favorite soups to make in the fall and winter is potato leek. Maybe it’s some of my Irish roots wanting to make up for the sad years I wasn’t eating potatoes, but no matter why, I love this stuff! The addition of kale is even something Tim accepts in this dish, and trust me, he is not kale’s biggest fan. Since it was first published years ago, I’ve made a few delicious upgrades to this dairy-free potato leek soup with kale so it’s creamier and more flavorful than ever!
Why Potato Leek Soup with Kale?
The first time potato leek soup even entered my brain space was in grad school when my roommate made it. She liked to use butter, cream and bacon. For me, with a meat-free diet, I made my own delicious version. It turns out it’s something meat lovers enjoy, too!
Poor potatoes have gotten a bad reputation from the ever-lying diet industry. How they got grouped with processed white foods, I’ll never know, as they’ve been enjoyed in pretty much every culture for many centuries. Potatoes are a great fall and winter good, and a delicious starch that provides energy for the brain and muscles, while keeping you satiated, too.
Leeks, like potatoes and kale, are a cold weather crop. If you haven’t explored them yet, they’re a member of the onion and garlic family, with anti-bacterial agents. If you enjoy those flavors, leeks provide a more mild version along with sweet and earthy tones.
After blending together those foods, kale adds a pop of color and texture.
Potato Leek and Kale Nutrition
On top of the energy potatoes provide, they contain 3 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, and 1/3 of your daily value of vitamin C. The most fun fact for me to share about potatoes is they have more potassium than a banana!
Leeks (as well as the onions and garlic in this recipe) are a source of prebiotic fiber. They also contain allicin and sulfides – phytochemicals which are linked to improved immunity and respiratory health.
Kale clearly has a great nutrition profile as it is rich in antioxidants, while providing fiber and nutrients like Vitamin C, K, iron, and folate.
Satisfying Taste and Texture
Sometimes I love chunky textured soups and others I want creamy. If you prefer a creamy textured soup but want to add the kale, use the immersion blender before adding your greens. Just by blending this soup when it’s done cooking, you’ll get a satisfying creamy texture. But, you can boost the physical satiety factor – and the creaminess – even more. Just blend in a rinsed can of white beans! Any type of white beans will work – cannellini, great northern, navy, take your pick. They’ll add even more fiber, plus some plant protein, both shown in research to increase feelings of fullness.
If you want to take it a step further, mix in a tablespoon of nutritional yeast to each bowl, or a 1/4 cup (and up to a 1/2 cup) to the entire recipe. This adds a boost of flavor, B-vitamins and protein. If you follow a completely vegan diet, or eat animal products very infrequently, make nutritional yeast a staple. Vitamin B-12 is hard to obtain in a vegan diet, and nutritional yeast is a good source. If cheese is part of your diet, you can add some cheddar, too.
Dairy Free Potato Leek Soup with Kale
- 1 tbsp olive or avocado oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large leeks quartered and cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 2 cups white onion (1 large or 2 small) diced
- 2 lbs gold potatoes cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 4 cups chopped fresh curly kale or 2 cups cut frozen kale
- ½ tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 can white beans rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
- Chop garlic and vegetables as indicated with the ingredients list.
- Heat oil in stockpot over low-medium before adding chopped garlic and stirring for about 1 minute.
- Add the chopped leeks and onions. Cover for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the onions & leeks take on a slightly translucent color.
- Add chopped potatoes and vegetable broth and cover. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for a total cooking time of 20-25 minutes.
- Add dried rosemary, salt and pepper, as well as optional ingredients, before stirring.
- For a hearty texture, carefully mash with a potato masher. For a smooth, creamy texture, use an immersion blender for 20-30 seconds. Alternatively, you may let cool before transferring to a high quality blender.
- Stir in the kale while still hot, before serving.