Healthy on a Budget: Leek, Potato and Courgette Soup

Forgive me for posting two soup recipes within such a short space of time, but with the glut of autumnal foods and cold weather, these heartening lunches and dinners have been calling to me. This twist on the traditional leek and potato soup is perfect for this time of the year; all three of the main ingredients came in my veg box last week. Being so seasonal, this dish is friendly on your purse and, if you shop the local market, can really help benefit your local economy, and the environment.

Healthy on a budget || Cauliflower leek and potato soup via @eleanormayc

The secret to a good soup is letting as many of the ingredients as possible cook in the flavoursome oil before adding stock. The heat of the oil and aromatic spices, if added, enrich the flavour of each ingredient in much the same way as roasting does. If you find yourself strapped for time or prefer to use a soup maker, sauté off some onions or celery and batch freeze them, so that you have little pockets of flavour to add to your cooking.

Ingredients -serves 4

  • 1 large leek
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 medium-large cauliflower
  • 3-4 medium sized potatoes
  • Vegetable stock
  • 1 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional: chilli powder or cayenne pepper
Healthy on a budget || Cauliflower leek and potato soup via @eleanormayc
Roughly chop the leek and cauliflower, and peeling and cubing the potatoes. In a large saucepan, heat a generous plug of olive oil over a medium heat, and then add the leek and garlic. Cover, and leave for up to five minutes, making sure that it doesn’t catch. If using, add 1/2 tsp of chilli or cayenne before adding the cauliflower, and cooking for a further two minutes. Then add the potatoes and stock and cover for 20 minutes under a simmer. Remove from heat, and use a hand blender to puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Healthy on a budget || Cauliflower leek and potato soup via @eleanormayc
Serve with crusty, dark bread such a pumpernickel, and squeeze over a quarter of the lemon per portion. Nuts and seeds make a great protein-filled garnish to help keep you full. Toasted almond goes beautifully with cauliflower, but I like omega 3-rich pumpkin seeds for this autumnal dish.
Student or on a budget? Let me know what meals you’d like to see me rework!