Lebanese Leek Soup

I first tried leeks at the Black Cat Cafe in Ashland, Wisconsin, when I had a soup similar to this one.  Although they are used basically the same as onions, they have a milder, buttery flavor, and maintain a stronger presence after cooking.  This soup showcases fresh leeks, as well as tomatoes warm from the garden sun.  Try replacing the green pepper with shredded zucchini, it adds a great touch.  Serve with warm biscuits and honey and you’ve got yourself a filling meal.

Lebanese Leek Soup

3 leeks, sliced to the light green part, rings separated

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1 1/2 tomatoes, chopped

3 carrots, sliced into thin wheels

2 oz edamame (a handful)

4 Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped

6 oz linguine, snapped in half

6 cups vegetable stock

olive oil

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 Tb Earth Balance

cracked black pepper, cinnamon, chili powder, cardamom, cloves, curry powder, salt, ginger

Optional: 1 Tbs sesame seeds

Heat 1 Tb olive oil and 1 Tb Earth Balance in a large stockpot over medium low.  Saute garlic 3 minutes, add leeks.  Saute 5 minutes and add pepper, carrots, and potatoes.  Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and add tomatoes and vinegar.  Mix in spices except cardamom and ginger–these you’ll add last.  Continue to heat 10 minutes.  Bring to a boil again and add noodles.  When noodles are cooked, add cardamom and ginger.  Reduce heat to medium and cook 3 minutes, stirring and adjusting spices as necessary.  Stir in sesame seeds if using.

Biscuits

2 cups all purpose flour (I use half unbleached and half wheat)

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

4 Tb Earth Balance

3/4 cup + 1 Tb soy milk

optional: 1/2 tsp chives

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt (and chives, if using).  Use a pastry cutter to cut in Earth Balance.  Gradually add soy milk, mixing with hands (this gets messy, flour your hands first) until combined.  Do not over-knead.  Turn onto lightly floured surface and fold, then press to 1/2″ thick.  Cut with a biscuit cutter.  Bake 12-15 minutes at 400 degrees F.

Open biscuits (they will easily break in half, as they bake into layers) and butter with Earth Balance.  Drizzle honey (or agave nectar if you’re a good vegan) over top and place biscuits back together so everything melts together.  Serve alongside the soup.  Enjoy!

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