Kaleo and I have been coveting a Vitamix for a couple of years now and we finally pulled the trigger on Saturday. He was up at rehearsals when I bought it and by the time he came home that night I had made a green smoothie and a batch of organic almond butter. Since then, we have been using it for anything we can think of. It really is the ultimate kitchen appliance for our lifestyle. We purchased the Professional Series 750, and are extremely happy with it. The cookbook that comes with it is pretty good, however there is another cookbook they offer that is geared more towards vegetarian, vegan, and raw diets.
After perusing their website for a while, I noticed that they have a vast recipe section where you can save recipes to your “book” online. Last night I found a recipe for an Almond Leek Soup. Noms. The recipe has just a few ingredients, which is exactly how we like to cook. It’s also vegan, gluten-free, and packed with nutrients. I rarely follow a recipe word for word, but I followed this one pretty close. For those of you who enjoy creamy soups, but don’t want the yucky fats and heavy creams, this is perfect for you. The creaminess comes from the almonds that you blanch in broth and then blend. Here’s the recipe from the Vitamix site, with a couple of revisions by me:
1 Cup organic almonds
6 Cups vegetable broth ( use low-sodium organic bouillon if I don’t have any homemade broth pre-made)
2 Cups coarse-chopped organic celery
1 medium (or 2 if smaller) leeks, chopped- white parts only (I tend to use more leeks than called for. It gives the soup a deliciously mild oniony taste)
1 Tbs. EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
Sea salt & cracked pepper to taste
- Simmer almonds in broth until soft, about 30 minutes.
- Sauté leeks and celery in olive oil until soft. I found that 1 Tbs wasn’t enough to keep all the veggies moist, so I added spoonfuls of broth and covered with a lid to let them steam. Better than adding more oil.
- Add sautéed vegetables to almonds and broth. Simmer until soft, about 15 minutes and let cool for 10-15 minutes or until temperature is 120˚F
- Place soup into the Vitamix or other blender/food processor and blend on high until creamy and smooth
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Place soup back into a pan and heat on stove for about 10 minutes or just until it begins to simmer. Serve immediately.
It was delicious, packed with nutrients, and Uber-satisfying on a cold night. And you gotta love the health benefits:
Almonds are loaded with Manganese, Riboflavin (B2) and Copper, they supply healthy fats which are great for your heart and can actually help with weight loss. They also decrease the after-meal spikes in blood sugar and are protein powerhouses. A quarter cup is packed with almost 8 grams of protein.
Celery is filled with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, many that directly protect the digestive tract as a whole. The Phthalides in celery may act as a diuretic, helping to lower the blood pressure in our vessels. Extremely low in calories, and helpful in weight loss.
Leeks are also low in calories, but packed with vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants. Very supportive for low level inflammation.
Of course these are just a few of the many health benefits of these yummy foods. This recipe has a similar flavor to a leek and potato soup, without the potatoes and dairy. Trust me when I say that you will not even miss the added calories, fats, and carbs.
Have a happy healthy rest of your week!