Delicious Potato Leek Soup

It is starting to feel like fall in LA…. kind of. With fall brings one of my favorite things to make, Potato Leek Soup! Creamy and delicious, this dish is sure to keep you warm on chilly nights. This is for a large batch of soup, you can have a soup party or freeze it for later. Serve with a salad, tea sandwich, panini, or just on it’s own! ENJOY

You will need:

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8 Peel Russet Potatoes

5 Large Leeks Whites Only

3 Celery Stalks

2 Tablespoons of Butter

10 Cups Vegetable Stock

1 Bay Leave

2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme

Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

Parsley

1 Cup Heavy Cream

Chop green section and tip off leeks, wash thoroughly and dry. Cut in half the long way and then slice in 1/2 inch pieces (does not have to be exact). Wash and chop celery. Peel and chop potatoes into medium sized chunks.

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Put Large Stockpot on medium heat, add butter, once melted put leeks in pot with a dash of salt. Sweat the leeks for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn heat down to medium low and cook leeks for 25 minutes until tender.
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Add the vegetable broth, potatoes, and bay leaf. Chop the thyme and add it. Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes. Check to see if potatoes are soft, if they are you are ready for the next step. Place half of the soup in a large mixing bowl or pitcher and the other half into a large blender. Blend the soup until smooth and creamy. Pour back into Stockpot and then blend the other half. Once all the soup is nice and cream and the cup of heavy cream. Stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste.                    IMG_6514-2IMG_6513-2

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Serve healthy bowlfuls with a handful of chopped parsley on top and voila, amazing potato leek soup.

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Disclaimer: You will want seconds.

Recipe inspired by Alton Brown and Robert Irvine.

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Vegetarian Friendly Sushi Spots and Oishii Vegetable Miso Soup

As a vegetarian, good sushi is hard to come by. There are always the staple vegetarian rolls; Vegetable Roll, Avocado Roll and Cucumber Roll, but after awhile they are rather boring, so when I go to a sushi spot that puts more thought into the vegetarian dishes, I’m always overjoyed!  Many non vegetarians think that Sushi restaurants have nothing to offer vegetarians, however Japanese is one of my favorite cuisines. My go to items at Sushi restaurants are the side salad, usually coming with delicious gingery dressing, an avocado roll and Shishito Peppers (hold the Bonito aka fish flakes). The following are three of my favorite vegetarian friendly Sushi Spots in Los Angeles:

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Wabi-Sabi on Venice’s Abbot Kinney has amazing side dishes such as pan fried sweet miso eggplant, chili garlic edamame, and kale salad. Of course they offer the  signature vegetarian sushi: vegetable and cucumber rolls. In my eyes the star Wabi-Sabi dish is the huge Vegan Mushroom Miso soup with Tofu, vegetables sautéed in spicy garlic black bean paste and last but not least delicious cubes of crispy rice. This dish is enough to feed a small family, but you’ll find it hard to share. It is so delicious, rich and versatile that it is hard to stop eating. It is a must for vegetarians and vegans alike.  If you’re hungry for something sweet- the green tea creme brûlée is to die for.

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The Izaka-ya in Manhattan Beach or on Third Street in West Hollywood have such high quality sushi rice that their simple Avocado Roll is absolutely delightful. They have a tapas menu, full of ornate and delicious small plates; such as the kinpira lotus root, agedashi tofu, shishito peppers, sauteed pumpkin, cucumber salad, etc.  The best vegetarian item on the Menu is the Tofu Chample; perfectly cooked vegetables with delicious soft tofu. I thoroughly recommend this spot! Not to mention my boyfriend claims it has the best (fish) sushi in LA!

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Last but not least is Shikibu, a restaurant practicing macrobiotic rules by solely using Brown Rice for sushi. Shikibu has simple sushi for vegetarians, including Carrot Kimpira, mixed vegetable and avocado rolls. They have a delicious carrot ginger dressing which can be found on the Tofu Salad, a crisp simple salad with delicious slabs of fresh tofu. The shining star at Shikibu is the Crispy Rice with Carrot Kimpira, it is crunchy, spicy, and has a tiny homemade pickle on top…. Perfection… OISHII DESU!!!

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I was inspired by Wabi-Sabi’s vegan Miso soup. So I created my own:

Oishii Vegetable Miso Soup

2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil

4 cloves garlic- sliced

2 cubes marinated tofu-chopped into small squares

1 inch piece of ginger minced

1/2 yellow onion- chopped

1 cob corn- chopped of cob

1/2 zucchini- quartered rounds

3/4 Cup Miso

12 Cups Water

2 dozen green beans- chopped in thirds

Handfull of mixed mushrooms- sliced

1/2 Head of green Cabbage- chopped

3 carrots- peeled and cut in small rounds

Splash of Soy Sauce

1.Heat Big Soup pot, add Toasted Sesame Oil

2. Sautee Onions, Ginger, Garlic, Tofu until onion is soft (about 5 minutes)

3. Add water, miso, and chopped vegetables

4. Taste for flavor– add splash of soy sauce if necessary.

5. Let Soup come to a boil, turn down to simmer for 35-50 minutes (until carrots are soft)

6. Enjoy!!

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