My dear, sweet friend, Mylene, recently sent me one of the most thoughtful gifts–an envelope full of her past issues of Vegetarian Times magazine. In fact, she sent me her VERY FIRST copy of Vegetarian Times, which dated back to September 2004. I was in tears as I scanned the recipes and thought back to all of the hours we spent together laughing, crying, and STRESSING during our yoga teacher training at Anamaya. Oh, how I miss her beautiful face, soothing voice, and sweet, sweet heart.
The first recipe from the April/May 2012 edition that caught my watery eye was this beautiful soup. What an interesting mix of ingredients–I mean, be honest, have you ever used apple, celery, leek, and curry together in a soup before? Plus, garnishing with the toasted almonds was such a brave and unique idea, I HAD to give it a try.
I can’t believe how much I enjoyed this beautiful green soup! With each bite, the complexity of the flavors became more apparent. I loved the way the bright apple showed up even with the powerful madras curry and leek dominating the flavor landscape. Plus, the toasty CRUNCH from the almonds gave it a hearty feel and an earthy flavor to balance the acidity of the lime.
I served the soup as a starter with a vegetable frittata, but it can definitely stand alone as the main course when you are feeling the need for a lighter meal. This is a great one if you are having a dinner party. You can play the name that soup game–your guests will NeVEr be able to identify this one and EVERYONE will be begging for the recipe before they leave!
Curried Cream of Celery and Leek Soup
- 1 c toasted almonds, chopped or sliced
- 2 T EVOO
- 1/2 t chipotle pepper flakes
- 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
- 12 stalks of organic celery, diced. Reserve a few celery tops to use as a garnish.
- 2 large leeks, white part only. Halve them lengthwise and then finely slice.
- 1 t kosher or sea salt (or more, to taste)
- 4 organic red apples, peeled, cored, and diced
- 3-4 T madras curry powder
- 2 14 oz cans of coconut milk
- 2 T fresh lime juice
In a large stock pot, warm the evoo with the chipotle pepper flakes. Add the leeks and cook on med/low for 5-7 minutes. Stir in the celery and salt and cook for another 5-7 minutes, until they begin to break down and soften. Stir in the diced apple and curry powder and cook for 5-7 minutes. Add the coconut milk, black pepper, and lime juice, stirring well to incorporate. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and use an immersion blender or transfer to a food processor to puree the soup. Turn the heat back to low and cook to reduce to the desired consistency, stirring frequently. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning to your palate. Serve with a generous topping of toasted almonds and a sprig of celery greens.