Leek and potato soup is a classic dish, but with the starchy white potatoes and heavy cream it isn’t necessarily wonderful for your waistline – or your skin. So this week when I received a shipment of leeks and sweet potatoes in my CSA box, I decided to lighten up this traditional winter dish and pack it with beautifying nutrients.
Sweet potatoes, as I’ve noted here, are very healing for skin. They’re high in age-defying beta-carotene, magnesium, iron and Vitamins B6, C and D. Pair them with leeks, which are an excellent source of minerals, antioxidants and Vitamins C and A, and you have a great combination of skin-fortifying ingredients. Leeks also have diuretic and protective properties, which detoxify skin and serve as an internal sunscreen and barrier against free radicals.
For extra flavor and beauty nutrients, I added fresh springs of thyme and dried paprika to the recipe. Thyme is a rich source of selenium, manganese, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium. Thyme is also effective against a strain of bacterium, Propionibacterium, which causes acne. Paprika is filled with many of the same nutrients and vitamins, but is known for its skin brightening and tightening properties. It is a potent anti-aging spice!
Hope you enjoy making a pot of this lighter, healthier take on the classic potato and leek soup!
Beauty Food: Sweet Potato and Leek Soup
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
4 small leeks (alternatively you can use one large leek or 1 ½ medium leeks)
3 heaping cups of skinned and cubed sweet potatoes (about 5 – 6 small potatoes)
4 cups of organic chicken or vegetable broth (1 liter)
Knob of butter
Small handful of thyme, chopped
½ teaspoon of paprika (add ½ teaspoon more for extra warmth)
Pepper for seasoning
Wash and slice leeks into rounds. Rinse thyme and chop coarsely.
Melt butter in a large pot or round French oven and add leeks and thyme, stirring for five minutes until softened.
Add sweet potatoes, vegetable broth and paprika to the pot. Stir and cover until soup begins to boil. Lower to a simmering boil for 15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes soften.
Using an immersion blender, liquefy the soup. Serve into bowls and add fresh pepper for seasoning and, if desired, a sprig of thyme for garnish. If you don’t own an immersion blender, allow the soup to cool and then spoon into a regular blender. Blend the soup and then return to the pot and re-heat before serving.