It was 35 degrees at the farm this morning, so I’m pulling out the first of the winter soup recipes. This is a simple soup to prepare, but getting the most flavor out of it means taking the time to nicely brown the vegetables before adding the broth. Don’t rush it.
Clean and dice leeks to make 2 C. Reserve the greens for garnish.
Wash 3 carrots and dice them finely.
Cut the florets off 1 large or 2 smaller heads of broccoli. Use a paring knife to peel the skin off the stems. Discard the tough peels and cut the stems into small pieces.
Heat 2 T. olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot and saute the leeks and carrots with salt and black pepper for at least 20 minutes on low heat. Add a pinch each of cayenne pepper and smoked paprika.
When the leeks and carrots are very tender and lightly browned, add 2-4 minced cloves of garlic and cook for 5 minutes longer.
Add 5 C. vegetable broth plus 1 C. peeled, diced sweet potato and the broccoli. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove the soup from heat and puree with an immersion blender (or puree in a batches in a regular blender). Return to heat and allow to return to a simmer.
Garnish with very finely minced leek leaves, chopped cilantro, olive oil for drizzling, and lemon wedges.