If you're like me and you've gained the Covid-19 (stress eating, woo!) then maybe like me you're also thinking now is time to rebuild healthy habits. The best strategy that works for me is building out either a food schedule or set of guidelines (not fully meal prepping). One way I do that is by making a large pot of soup that I can eat for about 5 meals.
Soups are a great way to pack in vegetables and flavor without compromising the health of a dish. Part of me wants to go on a soup cleanse but I've read that your body physically misses chewing and it can make you hungrier. I also recognize that soups can sometimes leave out healthy fats (nuts, beans, avocado) and protein which isn't sustainable.
My current plan and something that has worked for me before is to have a simple breakfast I can grab without thinking, soup that I can reheat for either lunch or dinner and salad supplies that I can throw together for either lunch or dinner. The goal is to make sure what you're eating still had a healthy dose of protein, healthy carbs and good fats every day. I'll write more on this in a separate post but basically this soup is week 1 of my month of rebuilding healthy habits.
Time: 1 hour (ish)
Makes: 6 servings
YOU WILL NEED A LARGE POT - mine is 4.5 quarts and any smaller will not work.
2 tablespoons butter or butter substitute (like I can't Believe its not Butter)
4 leeks, white and light green parts roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 lbs yellow or yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 of a head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 carton of low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
salt + pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup heavy cream / half & half / coconut milk
green onion or chives, crispy bacon or crispy chickpeas, HOT SAUCE!
Preheat a heavy bottomed soup pot or dutch oven over low heat. Add in butter and let it slowly melt.
Chop and rinse the leeks (their leaves are prone to hiding mud, ew). Add them into the soup pot along with the garlic. Stir every couple of minutes and leave on low heat for about 10 minutes until the leeks are wilted. Adjust the heat lower if they start to brown, you just want them to wilt.
Next add in the potato chunks, cauliflower florets, carton of broth + enough water so its all submerged. Then add in the rosemary, bay leaves, salt + pepper. Adjust the heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and stir about every 5 minutes for 20-25 minutes until the potato and cauliflower are cooked through and soft.
Either use a handheld immersion blender to blend the soup together or blend it in a regular blender in batches, see note below. Blend until the soup is homogenous and creamy.
Once the soup is blended, add in your cream or coconut milk and adjust the salt/ pepper to taste. You can play with the consistency by adding more broth or water to thin it or cooking it longer to thicken it up.
Top with fun things! This soup is a really great base to play around with - whether its adding crispy chickpeas or bacon, green onion, hot sauce, maybe some feta cheese? Really the world is your oyster here. Next time I make this I am going to add crispy mushrooms and truffle oil because that sounds great in my opinion. Enjoy!!
Note on blending:
I like using my regular blender because my immersion blender sometimes leaves marks on the bottom of my pots and it upsets me. This soup requires a large pot so assuming you don't have TWO giant pots (I don't) you'll want to put the soup back in the original pot after blending to finish cooking. To make this work, move the soup into a mixing bowl or something large enough to hold it all, then ladle into the blender in batches (never filling the blender more than half way) and after blending, pour back into the original pot.