Nothing like the dead of winter in both Toronto and Ottawa reminds me that my body was not meant to live in Canada. The cold, dry air sucks out any and all moisture from my body and I become perma-uncomfortable. The cold seeps into my bones, the lack of daylight renders me grouchy and tired, and all I want is the promise of summer fruits and vegetables, bountiful and fresh.
I’m reminded of when I was in Vietnam the humidity was so dense it felt like I was swimming. The sun beat down on Saigon, swirling the exhaust from trucks and motorbikes, and I had to choose between feeling the wind against my skin or protecting my skin from the hot sun. At the time, I chose the wind, but a couple weeks later, my tanned skin made me unrecognizable by my own people.
“Oh look at that Cambodian girl, so fat and tanned. Too bad her skin’s not whiter, she’d be prettier.”
But back in Canada, they relish the mark of a sun-soaked vacation. Tan-lines and sunburns meant a brief escape from the desiccated winter that slits at the elbows and knuckles as we desperately add layers for warmth.
I can only hope to relish in the golden warmth of this soup. The vegetable broth is golden and flavourful and adds a sunny hue to the soup. However, if you have a clearer broth, it won’t be quite as yellow. Tastes delicious, either way. Add a hearty twist of freshly ground black pepper, and you have little blips of spice in this velvety, comforting soup.
Dunk some nicely toasted buttered rye bread for some crunch if you feel like you need more than just the soup. Who needs a spoon when you have toast to scoop up the goodness.
- 2 leeks, white parts cut in half then chopped, rinsed well. Discard greens or use them to make a broth.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp curry powder (this is optionalâ€”I like a little spice to my soup but you can substitute with onion powder and garlic powder)
- 1 L (4 cups) low sodium vegetable broth
- 3 medium white potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
- Pepper to taste
- Over medium heat, cook leek and olive oil until leeks look melted. Add garlic cloves and cook for another minute until fragrant.
- Stir in curry powder. Add vegetable broth and chopped potatoes. Bring to a boil, cover and lower to a simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
- Remove from heat, transfer to a blender or use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Continue blending until soup is velvety smooth.
- Serve with black pepper and some buttered rye toast!