Lettuces of all varieties grow best in the cooler weather of the spring months, and leeks harvested in the springtime tend to be heartier and more flavorful than smaller summer leeks. This bright, fresh, herbaceous soup takes advantage of three lettuce varieties, packing in a hefty serving of green leafy vegetables in each bowl. With the addition of the white beans and milk, this soup is silky and creamy, with a bit of fresh tang from the lemon juice.
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
1 celery stalk, sliced
2 garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped
1 large head romaine lettuce
1 large head escarole
1 head butter lettuce
5 cups no-salt-added veggie broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 (15-ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup plain, unsweetened nondairy milk
½ cup firmly packed, fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks and celery and dry sauté until softened, about 4 to 5 minutes, adding splashes of broth as needed to keep the veggies from sticking. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in the romaine, escarole, butter lettuce, and broth. Increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the lettuce leaves are wilted and stems are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, white beans, nondairy milk, parsley, and dill. Remove from heat.
- Blend the soup using an immersion blender or a traditional blender (in batches), processing until smooth. Stir in the pepper.
Felicia Slattery is the best-selling author of Plant-Based Slow Cooker Cookbook and Plant-Based Instant Pot Cookbook and an award-winning home cook. She has been actively sharing her recipes on social media and her food blog for well over a decade. Since shifting to a completely plant-based diet, she has become a popular guest on plant-based cooking shows, speaks at plant-based events with her fun and energetic cooking demos, and teaches online cooking classes to both those new to plant-based eating and long-time vegans alike. She is the creator of PlantBasedHomeCooking.com, and she regularly shares her recipes and stories to help others discover the joy of living a healthy, plant-based lifestyle in her Facebook group and on her YouTube channel, both called Plant-Based Home Cooking with Felicia Slattery.