Anti-Inflammatory Potato and Leek Soup
With the winter months upon us, we have been craving some hearty and hot dishes to match our wintery mood.
Enter this delicious favourite, potato and leek soup!
As is, a traditional potato and leek soup has great anti-inflammatory benefits. By adding in a few simple ingredients you can boost those benefits even more.
One of the sulfur compounds found in leeks is Allicin, it has been known to neutralize free radicals faster than any other compound. It is also anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and cancer and heart protective. Sounds pretty great!
Leeks are also high in inulin. Inulin is a type of soluble dietary fibre that is great for enhancing the health of our colon.
What extras to add and why:
Turmeric: you may be hesitant to add turmeric to this recipe as it can have a strong flavour. But we tried it and it only leaves the recipe with a hint of Turmericy flavour.
Most people with chronic inflammation know that turmeric is the hero herb. Curcumin is the major component within turmeric that gives it it's anti-inflammatory benefits. Curcumin is well known for its anti-inflammatory action as it can help reduce joint pain.
Make sure to use it in moderation as too much can cause gastrointestinal side effects.
Cumin: the lesser-known healthy little seed. Now, don't confuse cumin with curcumin. We use cumin in many dishes but it doesn't get the same accolades as turmeric.
The active ingredients in cumin seeds have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic effect. This means that if you have pain or inflammation that trigger other conditions, cumin in your diet may counter the effects.
Garlic: Yum! Most potato and leek soup recipes don't actually call for garlic but why on Earth not?! It adds such a fantastic flavour and has anti-inflammatory benefits.
Like onions and leeks, it contains diallyl disulfide. This is an anti-inflammatory compound that limits the effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Thus, garlic can help fight inflammation and may even help prevent cartilage damage from arthritis. Sounds like a tasty win!
1 Tbsp olive oil or butter if dairy is not a problem 2 Large leeks, white part only 1.5 lb potatoes cubed, (you can peel them but we like it with the skin on and it's easier) 2 tsp cumin 1 tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp crushed garlic 2 quarts chicken broth (you can substitute a Vegetable broth) salt and pepper to taste chives, red chillies and croutons to garnish
Boil potato cubes in a large pot of water until softened but not cooked through, strain and set aside. (this saves you time later)
Cut and clean your leeks, there is usually a lot of dirt in them. Cut them lengthwise and then into roughly 3 cm strips.
In a pot over medium to low heat warm up the oil, add the leeks and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes.
Add the semi-cooked potatoes and continue to cook for a few minutes.
Add the broth and the spices, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until the potatoes are done about 8-10 minutes.
Using a food processor or regular blender, puree the soup until smooth. Use an immersion blender if you have one.
Garnish with red chilli, chives and/or croutons. (we also like to add a tiny bit of soy milk or cow's milk to give it a creamier texture).