Health benefits of Leeks
Leeks are a tasty and easy way to enjoy one of your five a day and their versatility means you can use them in lots of recipes.
Leeks are a source of the B vitamin folate which is needed for the production of red blood cells and the release of energy from food. Folate is also important during pregnancy and is important for a healthy immune system.
Energy (kcals) 17
Protein (g) 1
Fat (g) 0.6
Saturates (g) 0.1
Carbohydrate (g) 2.1
Sugar (g) 1.6
Salt (g) <0.01
Folate (mcg) 32
Vitamin C (mg) 6
Vitamit K (mcg) 7.6
Leek, cavolo nero & potato soup
This makes enough for about 4 good portions, keeps a few days in the fridge, & freezes well.
800g leeks (pick ones with green tops).
500g potatoes (I prefer floury such as king edwards, maris pipers or desiree, & use organic as I leave the skins on for prebiotic fibre).
200g cavolo nero, destalked.
2 litres water (more or less, depending on how thick you like your soup).
2 tsp. mixed herbs.
2 tsp. low salt vegetable stock.
1/2 tsp. ground black or mixed peppercorns.
Wash leeks to remove any soil. Roughly chop, & add to a large pan with 2 litres of water & the seasoning. Bring to the boil & simmer whilst the potatoes are washed & chopped. Add potatoes to the pan, bring back to boiling & simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Wash, destalk, & roughly chop the cavolo. Add this to the pan, along with more water if required, & simmer for another 5 minutes.
I use a steel hand blender to zazz the soup till it's almost smooth as I like a few veggie bits. Let it cool for several minutes if you're using a plastic blender. The soup's also nice unblended, but chop the vegetables as small as possible, & maybe grate the potato before cooking, or squash it a bit with a potato masher to give the stock texture. This is also nice with the cavolo dry fried or baked & sprinkled on top. It's rather like the crispy seaweed served in Chinese restaurants. Kale crisps work, too.
I added nutritional yeast for extra B vitamins & zinc, so this lunch alone provides me with more than adequate folate intake. Also good served with fresh parsley on top for vitamin C as this vitamin is destroyed by cooking. Vitamin C is helpful for absorbing the iron content in the greens. I ate this with a slice of chocolate & cherry bread (no Saturday seeded sourdough today ) spread thickly with avocado. For anyone wanting to loose weight. lower their GI food intake, or increase their prebiotic intake, don't heat the soup up too much once it's cooled, so the potato starch stays as resistant starch & acts as fibre.
Bunny ears weren't intentional, though the chocolate drops & cherries reminded me of something leporidae leave lying around.
Some related past posts:
My cavolo post is another one that seems to be missing from HE, so here's some information on my favourite brassica: discovercavolonero.co.uk/he...
Health benefits of Cavolo Nero
Cavolo Nero adds nutrients to every dish.
It has a very similar nutritional profile to traditional kale which means it is rich in lutein and a source of vitamins K, A and C as well as containing significant amounts of manganese, copper, fibre, calcium, iron, the B vitamins and many other elements.
Cavolo Nero Nutritional Analysis (first figure for raw & second cooked, no tab features on HU).
Energy (kcals) 33 19
Protein (g) 3.4 1.9
Fat (g) 1.6 0.9
Sat fat (g) 0.2 0.2
Carbohydrate (g) 1.3 0.8
Sugar (g) 1.2 0.7
Salt (g) 0.1 0.2
Fibre (g) 4.1 3
Calcium (mg) 130 120
Iron (mg) 1.7 1.6
Brassica's don't seem to affect my thyroid health negatively, & I like to eat several leaves raw whilst I'm chopping & stirring, for extra iron & vitamin C. Please be aware they could cause issues when uncooked if you're hypothyroid or suspect you have this issue.