Nutritionist Lucy Hyland

Leek and Parsnip soup

December 1, 2023
Posted by Lucy

Wednesday December 1st

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Leeks are part of a family called the Allium, containing its great cousins garlic, onions and shallots and chives. This family is well-known for its health benefits and its great if you try to include these in your diet everyday. Why? This family contains a unique group of flavonoids and sulfur containing compounds which have been linked to improved cardiovascular health and anti-inflammatory characteristics.

Interestingly, exposure to oxygen enhances the health benefits of leeks so slice them and set them aside for 5 minutes before cooking. Leeks contain some manganese and Vitamin C, which assist the anti-oxidant effects of leeks.

The best way to cook leeks, I think, it to cut thinly, sauté in a little water for 5 - 10 minutes or until soft and then serve. I often simply take off the heat and then stir in a little extra virgin olive oil as well for richness. I also like to use them as a base for some of my soups in the winter as they have such a great flavour.

Leek and Parsnip Soup

6 leeks - finely sliced
3 medium parsnips - chopped
3 onions - roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic - chopped
2 teaspoon of fennel seeds
1 tin of mung beans or two cups of dried mung beans
1 litre of chicken stock or boiling water
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

Roast the fennel seeds in the dry saucepan first for a few minutes over a medium heat and then blitz them in a coffee grinder.
Saute the onions in a little water for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent.
Then add HALF the leeks and give them a good stir, adding the garlic and the fennel seeds.
Saute for another 5 minutes and then add the parsnips, salt and pepper and the stock/water. Bring to boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes (depending on how big your parsnip pieces are).
Meanwhile, wash the mung beans well under running water. If you are using dried, then transfer to a pot of boiling water and cook for about 15 minutes with a bay leaf. Once soft, drain and wash again under running water. If using tinned, simply leave aside once you have washed them.
When the parsnips are soft, blitz with a blender. Then add the mung beans and left over leeks. Give them a good stir and let cook for another few minutes. Add a little more seasoning if necessary.

This soup ends up quite green!!! Serve with some lovely toasted sour dough rye.

Wheat free, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free

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