Leeks are best during the spring season. Leek, parsnip and lemon soup is light and easy to digest. Leeks promotes detoxification and circulatory flow and their anti-inflammatory properties may be helpful to reduce inflammation. I have combined leeks with parsnips, which are naturally sweet and lemon which freshens the flavour. I also added seaweed and bone broth to further mineralise this soup. My Indian/Pakistani heritage comes through in this recipe, as I also added fresh ginger and turmeric, which complement and support liver detoxification, reduce inflammation and promote circulation.
Some Health Benefits of Leeks
Leeks belong to the same family as garlic and onions so will have similar health benefits.
- Leeks contain polyphenols which act as anti-oxidants and help prevent tissue damage
- Leeks contain significant amounts of a flavonoid called kaempferol which. provides protection to the linings of the blood vessels. Kaempferol stimulates the production of nitric oxide, which opens blood vessels, promotes blood flow, helping to lower elevated blood pressure
- Leeks contain sulphur, which stimulates and supports detoxification of the liver
- They are anti-inflammatory and may be helpful to decrease chronic inflammation
- Like onions and garlic, leeks are anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal
- The fibre in leeks can ease digestive issues like constipation, inflammation and support the growth of gut friendly bacteria
- Like onions and garlic, leeks help to lower elevated cholesterol
Some of the common nutrients found in leeks include:
- Beta-carotene - An antioxidant which helps prevent cell damage. Can be converted to vitamin A, which supports skin and the mucous membranes within the body.
- Vitamin C - Antioxidant, which helps to prevent cell damage. An essential component of collagen, which strengthens all soft tissues like gums, blood vessels and so on
- Vitamin K - Supports health bone tissue and is an essential component for blood clotting process and wound healing.
- Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) - is found in a highly bio-available form that the body can use. Supports cardiovascular health and promotes healthy red blood cells. Supports rapid cellular division and growth especially during pregnancy and infancy
- Potassium - Helps to maintain acid/alkali balance within the body. A key electrolyte which helps to maintain body fluids, muscle & nerve functioning. Potassium supports the correct movement of nutrients and wastes in and out of the cells.
- Calcium - Supports bones, teeth, muscles and nerves. Important component of many enzyme reaction in the body.
Leek, Parsnip and Lemon Soup
4-5 cloves garlic
1 inch piece of fresh ginger
4 inch strip of kelp seaweed (optional)
1 pint (500ml) of homemade broth (I used bone-based but vegetable broth is fine)
1 tablespoon organic butter ghee
Unprocessed salt, I added Himalayan salt to taste (optional)
Spices of choice, I added 1/2 tsp of turmeric and 1/2 tsp of black pepper (optional)
Dried herbs of choice, I added 1 tsp of oregano (optional)
Olive oil and fresh coriander or parsley to garnish
- Cut root off each leeks then cut lengthwise. Fan each piece out and wash thoroughly. Chop into medium pieces
- Wash and chop parsnips into medium pieces
- Peel ginger and garlic, chop ginger into medium pieces.
Alternatively you could mash ginger and garlic using a mortar/pestle
- Melt ghee in a large pan and add the chopped ginger and garlic.
Gently fry until they start to soften.
- Add chopped leek and parsnips and soften a little by stirring for a few minutes
- Pour over enough broth to cover and add seasonings of your choice (unprocessed salt, herbs and or spices).
I added 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp black pepper and 1 tsp of dried oregano
- I also added some seaweed to the mixture. I soaked dried kelp in a little hot water for a few minutes to soften and remove surface impurities before adding to the soup mixture
- Bring soup to the boil then turn heat down to a simmer & cook until the vegetables are tender
- Blend soup, add more broth or water to bring soup to your desired consistency
- Just before serving add the juice of 1/4-1/2 a lemon depending on your taste. It really helps to freshen the taste!
- I drizzled a little virgin olive oil on top and sprinkled on some chopped fresh coriander.