Bright Green Leek Soup

Serves 6 to 8.

Note: Crème fraîche is a thickened cream, similar to sour cream, which could be substituted.

• 6 medium leeks, about 3 lb.

• 4 tbsp. butter

• Salt and pepper

• 4 garlic cloves, minced

• Pinch of cayenne

• 1/2 c. rice

• 8 c. hot chicken broth or water

• 10 oz. baby spinach, washed

• Grated nutmeg, to taste

• 1/2 c. crème fraîche (see Note)

• 2 tbsp. thinly sliced chives, for garnish

• 2 tbsp. thinly sliced tarragon, for garnish

Directions

Trim leeks of outer layer and stems. Chop white and tender green parts into 1/2-inch chunks (discard tough gray-green parts). Soak leeks in a large bowl of lukewarm water, swishing to dislodge sand. Drain and soak again, then lift leeks, leaving sediment behind.

Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add leeks and season well with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until leeks are wilted, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, cayenne and rice and cook for 1 minute. Add hot broth and bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer. Simmer until rice is very soft, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely before proceeding.

Using a blender, purée raw spinach with cooled soup mixture. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve, discarding any fibrous solids. Adjust seasoning and add grated nutmeg. Thin with broth or water if necessary. Heat soup before serving, to preserve bright green color. Garnish with a tablespoon of crème fraîche and a sprinkling of chives and tarragon.

Nutrition information per each of 8 servings:

Calories 190 Fat 10 g Sodium 1,010 mg

Carbohydrates 23 g Saturated fat 5 g Calcium 114 mg

Protein 4 g Cholesterol 43 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 3 vegetable, ½ bread/starch, 2 fat.

 

Broiled Leeks Vinaigrette

Serves 4 to 6.

 

• 8 medium leeks, about 4 lb.

• 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar

• 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard

• 1 garlic clove, minced

• Salt and pepper

• 8 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing

• 2 c. coarse breadcrumbs

• 2 tbsp. chopped thyme

• 1/2 c. grated Parmesan

• 4 tbsp. chopped parsley, divided

• 3 hard-cooked eggs (9-minute eggs), roughly chopped

 

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer.

Prepare the leeks: Trim leeks of outer layer and roots. Cut crosswise to divide leeks into white bottoms and green tops (remove and discard the tough gray-green parts). Soak leeks in a large bowl of lukewarm water, swishing to dislodge sand. Lift from water and drain.

Add the white pieces of the leeks to the pot and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Using tongs, remove the white pieces, then cook the green pieces for 4 to 5 minutes. Both white and green pieces should be tender when probed with a paring knife. Blot dry. Transfer to a baking dish in one layer. Let cool.

Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, then whisk in 6 tablespoons olive oil. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine breadcrumbs, thyme and Parmesan. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper; toss well. Spread crumbs on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until crisp and golden. When cool, mix in 2 tablespoons parsley.

Preheat broiler. Brush leeks lightly with olive oil and place several inches from flame. Broil for about 5 minutes, until browned and lightly charred.

Spoon vinaigrette evenly over leeks. Top with crumbs and cooked egg. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley. Serve warm.

Nutrition information per each of 6 servings:

Calories 390 Fat 24 g Sodium 360 mg

Carbohydrates 35 g Saturated fat 5 g Calcium 215 mg

Protein 11 g Cholesterol 100 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 2 bread/starch, ½ medium-fat meat, 4 fat.