The calendar says we are well into the season of spring, but it's still cold and windy outside. I wanted something comforting to warm me up so when I saw the leeks I had bought all I could do was daydream about making a big pot of creamy soup today. I also wanted to give the soup a big flavor punch so I decided to add some Thai ingredients to make it lip-smacking good. Now if I can just get Mother Nature to cooperate and bring on the warm spring weather, I can finally put my soup pot away for the season.
2 large bunches of fresh leeks cut and clean
6 cups chicken stock or water and bullion equivalent
2 cups water
1 (15oz) can coconut milk
2-5 Tbs fish sauce ( to taste)
1 large onion chopped
1 Tbs fresh ginger grated
1 Tbs fresh garlic grated
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
red chili powder (cayenne) to taste
salt and black pepper to taste
1-2tsp fresh lemon juice
Thai red chilies slices (optional)
Since leeks grow through the dirt, a lot of grit is in between the layers. The best way to wash leeks is to chop it first and loosen the layers. Then put it into a bowl of cool water and swish them around to let the grit fall to the bottom of the bowl. Then scoop up the clean leeks that are floating on the top and leave the grit and dirt at the bottom of the bowl.
Saute ginger, garlic and onion with 1 Tbs canola oil. When onions begin to soften add leeks and some salt. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
Next add dried herbs, red chilipowder and saute for a minute. Then add the chicken stock, water and fish sauce and simmer on high for 25 minutes.
Cream with an immersion blender or in a food processor. Next add coconut milk and cook for 3-5 minutes. Finish with lemon juice. Taste for seasoning. If more salt flavor is desired add fish sauce to taste. Serve hot. Enjoy.
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