Cuisine’s kindest course

Ah yes. Soup. When fall arrives, I make a big pot of it nearly every weekend. 


More than eating it, there is something about the process of making the soup that centers me.

  • Preparing something so nurturing for my family and friends feeds my soul;
  • If I am away from home, one of the best ways to feel comfortable in my new surroundings is to take over the kitchen for an hour or so preparing soup for my hosts;
  • As my mother’s daughter, I adore using up leftovers and things that would otherwise go to waste;
  • The compatibility of soup and bread–which Jeremy bakes nearly every weekend–offers a lovely completeness to our meals;
  • Inspired by the vegetables that have arrived in our fall CSA share and by what’s in the fridge, my soup is rarely identical, but always delicious.

I was asked by Cynthia to share what I made today. So, here goes:

Making today's dairy-free potato leek soup

“Good soup is one of the prime ingredients of good living. For soup can do more to lift the spirits and stimulate the appetite than any other one dish.” – Louis P. De Guoy



3 large organic carrots
2 large organic leeks
5-6 potatoes
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 can coconut milk (Thai Kitchen organic)
1-32 oz. container of organic broth (vegetable or chicken)
Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
Fresh parsley
Raw sunflower seeds or pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)

Peel and cut the potatoes and carrots into similar sizes so that they cook evenly. I had purple potatoes in my CSA box this week, so that’s what the purple cubes are in the photo.

Cut the hard portion of the leek off. Slice the rest into rings and wash carefully in cold water (dirt hides easily between the inside layers.)

Heat a large saucepan until it is hot to the touch. Add coconut oil. Allow to heat through. Add leeks and carrots. Saute until slightly soft. Add potatoes, plus approx. 1/3rd of the broth.**  Simmer. Add more broth as liquid disappears. Keep adding broth and simmering until all vegetables are tender.

Turn off the burner and allow to cool.

Once cool, separate the broth from the cooked vegetables. Adding approx. a cup of each at a time, blend broth and vegetables until the mixture reaches your desired puree level. (i.e. If you like your soup completely smooth, blend all ingredients until completely pureed. If you prefer some texture, keep a portion of the ingredients unblended.)

Combine puree with any leftover broth and cooked vegetables in a soup pot. Once warmed through, add entire can of coconut milk. Add water if necessary to create desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste.

Sprinkle top with raw sunflower seeds or pepitas and chopped fresh parsley (it’s an excellent source of Vitamin A, several B Vitamins and Vitamin K and it also contains more Vitamin C that most citrus fruits.)

* If you don’t need the meal to be 100% dairy-free, grate a little parmesan cheese on top.

** I received shell beans in my CSA share this week, so I included those as well. They added protein, flavor and thickness to the soup, but were not noticeable once blended.

I’m not accustomed to writing down my own recipes, so let me know how yours turns out!



“Soup is cuisine’s kindest course.  It breathes reassurance; it steams consolation; after a weary day it promotes sociability, as the five o’clock cup of tea or the cocktail hour.

Good soup is one of the prime ingredients of good living.  For soup can do more to lift the spirits and stimulate the appetite than any other one dish.

One whiff of a savory aromatic soup and appetites come to attention.  The steaming fragrance of a tempting soup is a prelude to the goodness to come.  An inspired soup puts family and guests in a receptive mood for enjoying the rest of the menu.

There is nothing like a plate or a bowl of hot soup, it’s wisp of aromatic steam making the nostrils quiver with anticipation, to dispel the depressing effects of a grueling day at the office or the shop, rain or snow in the streets, or bad news in the papers.”

– Louis P. De Gouy, ‘The Soup Book’ (1949)

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7 Responses to Cuisine’s kindest course

  1. Tammy September 22, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    Soup feeds the soul. I feel exactly as you do about making it and sharing it.

  2. inherchucks September 22, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    My favorite thing about cold weather is homemade soup. there is nothing more delicious 🙂

    I host a weekly CSA link party and would love for you to be a part of it. Come and check it out and add your link… Hope to see you there!

  3. Jennifer Richardson September 23, 2012 at 5:06 am #

    inspired and thrilled with the tip to use coconut milk (yes! great idea).
    not doing dairy seems so limiting but this gives me a happy nudge.
    thanks for the sweet inspire,

    • Rachel Greenhouse September 23, 2012 at 8:12 am #

      Yes! I use coconut milk instead of dairy in all kinds of recipes…squash soup, for example. ( :

  4. facelikeafryingpan September 23, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    Although I hate soup, I must say that I appreciate how one could see it as a “comfort food” and a great way to use up leftovers. But I’m weird. I like my liquids and solids separate. Hate stew too.

  5. noemi hedrick September 23, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

    I love you! And your wonderful cooking. Can’t wait to try some of these amazing soups!

  6. sybaritica September 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    Great idea using coconut milk!

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