When you are faced with sub-zero temperatures in mid-April and are thoroughly convinced that winter is a year round affair, like we are here in Toronto, nothing improves your bleak outlook like a bowl of warm and creamy POTATO AND LEEK SOUP!
As a member of the alliumfamily, leeks are close cousins with the likes of onions, garlic, and shallots. So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that their health promoting properties mirror each other so closely.
EYE HEART LEEKS – Translation: I LOVE LEEKS!
Chock-full of Vitamin A, antioxidants, and a source of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, leeks can play a protective role in visual health. A region of the retina called the macula which is largely responsible for central vision, is also the most sensitive to blue light. Lutein and zeaxanthin filter these harmful blue wavelengths and protect the integrity of healthy eye cells. Wearing sunglasses and consuming high amounts of leafy green vegetables, including leeks, protect the macula from macular degeneration. As lutein is something that our bodies don’t produce on their own, it must be obtained through consumption or supplementation. Who needs pills when soup can taste this good!
Leeks are also a source of kaempferol,a compound associated with protecting the lining of blood vessels from damage via increasing the production of vasodilating NO (nitric oxide).
LEEKS: THEY DO A BODY GOOD!
Do you remember when this was the slogan for milk? We now know that the notion that dairy consumption is associated with increased bone health has taken a back seat to the whole alkalize your system movement! Eating green allows your system to stay basic, thus keeping calcium in your bones rather than pulling it out to buffer acidic blood and thinning your bones. Add to that, the rich Vitamin K component of green leeks and you’ve got the perfect recipe for good bone health!
So on a cold spring day, be optimistic that the weather is going to change for the better. And if your outlook is still bleak, perhaps a bit of leeksoup will brighten you up!
WARM AND CREAMY POTATO AND LEEK SOUP
- 1 leek
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots
- 2 sticks celery
- 6-8 red baby potatoes
- Nutritional Yeast to taste
- 1 box of low sodium organic chicken or vegetable broth
- Oregano to taste
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Cilantro for garnish
- Coconut oil
- Cut the bottom of the leek and remove the dark green upper end and discard. Wash the leek thoroughly as dirt gets stuck between the stalks. Slice the leek into rings.
- Cut all of the remaining vegetables.
- Warm coconut oil in a pot and add the onions and garlic. Allow them to fry until the onions are clear in colour.
- Add the remaining vegetables, stirring constantly to allow for even cooking.
- Sprinkle with oregano and black pepper.
- Add 1 box of chicken broth or vegetable broth and allow to cook on low for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through.
- Stir in the nutritional yeast.
- Allow to cool and blend in your high speed blender until you have reached a creamy consistency.
- Garnish with a sprig of cilantro and serve!
**A note to the stone formers: If you have a tendency to form kidney or gall stones, please limit your consumption of leeks as they are high in oxalates which can lead to stone formation!
Dr. Meera Dossa is a licensed naturopathic doctor at Davisville Active Therapy. She is certified and licensed to perform parenteral therapy in the province of Ontario and has successfully met the requirements for the Standard of Practice in Therapeutic Prescribing. To book an appointment for naturopathic therapy, diagnostic testing, dietary assessment, or intravenous therapy, please contact Dr. Meera Dossa, ND at 647-705-1242 or firstname.lastname@example.org.