Stems and All

My journey to buy less, consume smart, use what's there.

Potato and leek soup: a true ‘stems and all’ recipe


Somewhere along the way, the dark green part of my friend, The Leek, got a bad reputation. This nutritious portion of the plant is rarely included in recipes. In fact, nearly all recipes – especially those for potato leek soup – instruct you to omit the darker green top portions.

No more. I challenge this notion that the darker parts of the leek plant make for an inferior soup.

In fact, here’s a recipe for an amazing, hearty, healthy soup that includes not only the darker green portion of the leeks, but also uses the carrot and celery pulp from a previous juicing project. This is a stems and all recipe that takes advantage of a vegetable part that is often overlooked.

potato leek soup ingredients

Potato leek soup recipe, using dark and light parts of leek.

– 1 medium onion, chopped
– Pulp from 7 juiced carrots (if pulp not available, substitute 2 diced carrots)
– Pulp from 5 stalks juiced celery (if pulp not available, substitute 2 diced celery stalks)
– 2 medium leeks, including the pale, green and darker green portions, thinly sliced (just discard the outermost parts of the stalks and trim off the very top portion of the leeks)
– 8 – 12 small potatoes, skins on, thinly sliced
– Olive oil
– Chicken broth
– White wine (optional)
– Salt to taste

use both dark and light parts of leeks | stems and all

Use both the dark and light parts of leeks in this ‘stems and all’ recipe

1.) Saute the onion in olive oil until golden brown.

2.) Add the carrot and celery pulp and liquid – you can either use chicken broth or white wine or a combination of both. Continue to saute until mixture is fragrant and soft.

use celery and carrot pulp | stems and all

Celery and carrot pulp from earlier juicer juice.

3.) Add the leeks and more liquid if needed. Saute until leeks are soft.

4.) Add potatoes and chicken broth to cover. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for about an hour, until potatoes are beginning to fall apart.

5.) At this point, soup can either be served as a rustic soup, smashed slightly, or partially pureed.

Any way you serve it, it’s going to be amazing!

potato leek soup | stems and all

Serve with salt and pepper to taste.

Here are some examples of sites that choose to omit the lovely dark green portion of my friend, The Leek:

“…dark green sections removed” – The Food Network
“…use only the white and pale green parts” – Simply Recipes
“…[use only] the white and pale green parts” – Epicurious

Author: Jane Newcomb

“Stems and All” is my personal journey to become a more environmentally responsible human, live a more sustainable life, and practice sustainable consuming habits.

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