If you’re living in the US these days, you are probably experiencing some major winter vibes. Living in coastal California, I am very fortunate to never have experienced the sub-zero weather that our friends in the midwest and east are living through. However, while we may not be able to turn boiling water into snow instantly, we are experiencing some pretty exciting rainstorms on the West Coast.
So, whether you’re surviving the polar vortex (ugh) or staying in during a rainstorm, this warm, comforting soup is sure to hit the spot.
I’ve always loved the traditional potato leek soup. The hearty combination of potatoes, leeks, and cream, blended to perfection, is absolutely mouth-watering. It is also very much not vegan. I developed this soup recipe as a flavorful vegan option for my fellow potato leek soup lovers. It still has the requisite potatoes and leeks - and the creaminess from the almond milk and vegan butter - but the beans add protein, making it a satisfying meal all on its own. The addition of ground cloves gives it an unexpected warm spiced flavor that is spot-on for wintertime.
Leeks are notoriously hard to clean and often have dirt and grit stuck between their layers. To effectively clean leeks, I slice off the root end and the inedible green part and then slice the whole leek lengthwise and submerge in a bowl of water. This removes the grit in the layers and results in a nice clean leek.
Potato Leek White Bean Soup
¼ cup vegan butter*
1 medium white onion, chopped finely
4 leeks, halved longwise and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon ground cloves
4 cups water
2 tablespoons Better than Bouillon**
4 cups almond milk
4 medium golden potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 25 oz cans white beans (any white bean will work, such as Northern or Cannellini)
1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, based on taste
* Feel free to use your favorite butter substitute. Earth Balance or coconut oil will work fine. My favorite non-dairy butter is this cultured vegan butter by Miyoko (which is based in my home town of Petaluma!). Definitely more expensive than other options, but it is incredibly delicious. The closest thing I’ve tasted to real butter.
** My favorite vegetable bouillon is this one by Better Than Bouillion. (You can sub in vegetable stock instead of the water, but you’ll probably want to add more salt.)
Melt vegan butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, leeks, salt, pepper, and ground cloves and saute until onions begin to caramelize - about 10 minutes.
Add water, bouillon, almond milk, potatoes, and white beans and stir to combine. Bring to a boil then lower heat to medium-low, cover pot and allow to simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
Remove from heat and puree to desired consistency using an immersion blender - or by putting it in a countertop blender (if do this, you may need to work in batches.) Add apple cider vinegar and adjust seasons based on preference. Enjoy!