Golden leek soup is a delicious, low-calorie, low-fat delight flavored with a hint of curry.
Made from a nourishing combination of leeks, potatoes and evaporated skim milk, the soup is fresh, creamy and filling, but gets just 15 percent of its calories from fat.
It is a fine choice for summer dining because it tastes great either warm or chilled.
With a salad and a loaf of whole-grain peasant bread for dunking, the soup makes a complete meal.
The soup takes its name from the color of the leeks after they have been browned for several minutes in olive oil. The slow cooking heightens the flavor, too, picking up the rich taste of caramelized onions. (Leeks are related to onions and garlic, though their flavor is milder and more subtle.)
Remember that sand often gets trapped in fresh leeks. Discard the dark-green, leathery outer leaves until you reach tender, light-green inner leaves. Trim the tops and the roots, then slit each leek from top to bottom. Rinse between the layers under cool, running water to wash away the grit.
Golden leek soup
Makes 10 (1-cup) servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups chopped leeks (about 2 leeks), white and light green parts only
4 1/2 cups (about 3 medium potatoes) peeled russet potatoes, chopped
8 cups water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated skim milk
In a large kettle, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and reduce heat to low. Cook slowly for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until leeks are golden brown and very soft.
Add the potatoes, water, sugar, salt, curry, garlic, allspice and white pepper. Bring to a boil. Simmer covered for 30 minutes.
Puree the vegetables using a hand-held blender, or strain the liquid and puree the solids in a blender or food processor. The soup should be velvety smooth. Stir in the evaporated skim milk and keep warm over low heat until serving time.
Soup may also be chilled and served cold.
Per serving: 181 calories, 3 grams fat (15 percent of calories from fat), 5 grams protein, 35 grams carbohydrates, 1 milligram cholesterol, 481 milligrams sodium.