During the colder months of the year, there are few things more relaxing than curling up with a nice bowl of hot soup. The problem is… Store and restaurant-bought soups are loaded with sodium, which can lead to blood pressure issues and weight gain. So, I’m here to give you a healthy alternative that’s homemade AND lectin-free.
This particular soup is a healthy twist on a classic, and it’s a classic for a reason! Leek and potato soup is warming, comforting, and wonderfully filling. But for those who don’t know, potatoes are LOADED with lectins, so I wanted to make an alternative that got rid of the excess lectins, while still providing the above benefits and tasting amazing. In order to do this, I got rid of the typical potatoes and replaced them with cauliflower.
Cauliflower makes a great substitute here for several reasons.
- First, it is extremely lectin-light. Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, and in my opinion, cruciferous vegetables are incredible for your digestive tract and actually help you to digest other foods.
- Second, the high Vitamin K content in cauliflower helps to reduce inflammation. As if these benefits weren’t enough already, the sulforaphane in cauliflower has been linked supporting blood pressure and kidney function.
- The high fiber and water content of cauliflower help to maintain optimal digestion, flushing out toxins and helping food to move through the digestive tract efficiently and without nutrient loss. Researchers at the Department of Internal Medicine and Nutritional Sciences Program of the University of Kentucky believe that a high fiber intake is associated with significantly lower risks for developing coronary heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal conditions.1
- Cauliflower is a natural prebiotic. Prebiotic foods contain a special form of dietary fiber that act as a fertilizer for the good bacteria in your gut. Most cruciferous veggies are prebiotic foods.
- Just a single cup of cauliflower will provide you with around 70% of your daily vitamin C. Vitamin C helps boost immune function and also helps the body fight certain symptoms of infection.2
Leeks Are Always a Good Choice
- Apart from cauliflower and its many benefits, this recipe is loaded with leeks, a member of the onion family that’s high in inulin, a powerful prebiotic. That means eating this soup feeds more than your body … it’s also feeding those gut bugs.
- Leeks are rich in antioxidants, vitamins A and K, iron, and thiamin.
- Leeks are the largest member of the allium family (alongside onion and garlic). Allium veggies have long been valued for their potent medicinal properties. Clinical studies are focusing on leeks’ potential to help prevent abnormal cells from growing, particularly in the digestive tract.3
- The leafy stems of the leek are high in folates, which are important for DNA synthesis and cell division. They’re also essential in the diet during pregnancy to help prevent brain or spine defects in newborns.
The Secrets of Stock
All soup recipes call for some manner of stock or broth. In my recipe below, we’ll be using either homemade chicken or vegetable stock. Store-bought stocks can be extremely high in sodium. If you read the label, you’ll quickly notice that these quick-and-easy ingredients are over-processed and devoid of all the incredible nutrients that “real” stock can provide.
Concentrated broths and stocks have a reputation across generations for curing all sorts of illnesses, and having some of your grandmother’s chicken soup when you’re sick may actually wield some truth.
A recent study found that sipping hot chicken soup increased the flow of mucus much better than sipping either hot or cold water. However, I don’t recommend drinking bone broth all the time… here’s why. When you do need it for a recipe, stick with veggie, pasture-raised chicken or seafood broth.
Apart from cauliflower and its many benefits, this recipe is loaded in leeks, a member of the onion family that’s high in inulin, a powerful prebiotic. That means eating this soup feeds more than your body… it’s feeding those gut bugs, too.
So, do yourself a favor and try this cauliflower soup recipe alternative, your health will thank you!
Leek and “Potato” Soup Recipe – serves 6-8
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound leeks, cleaned and chopped
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into 2 inch florets
- 2 quarts homemade or salt free chicken or vegetable stock
- ¼ cup grated parmesan (optional, but delicious)
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon fresh nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, or more to taste
- 2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
- finely chopped chives or thyme for garnish
- Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large soup pot. Add leeks, celery, garlic and cauliflower, along with the nutmeg, salt and pepper and saute over medium, stirring regularly until leeks begin to wilt.
- Add stock, parmesan, and the bay leaf, and cook, covered, for 35-45 minutes, until cauliflower is very tender.
- Blend using a stick blender, or transfer into a regular blender and blend until smooth (work in batches as to not overfill the blender.)
- Once pureed, return to the heat and cook an additional 10-15 minutes.
- Serve garnished with chopped herbs and parmesan
Note: Always take care when blending hot liquid, as it greatly expands. A good rule of thumb is to never fill the blender, or the container that you’re using, more than about a quarter full when liquid is hot. Work slowly, using small batches, until the entire mixture has been pureed.
Always looking out for you,
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Article updated on August 24th, 2017.