Spring Pea and Leek Curry
Spring Pea and Leek Curry Photo courtesy of Jake Gartland

We’ve always associated spring cleanses with a liquid diet of cayenne-spiked lemon concoctions. So we were pleased to learn that Replenish PDX’s Andrea Nakayama believes real meals (hooray for utensils!) should be part of productive cleanses as well. Each season, the holistic health counselor creates good-for-you recipes, like this sweet pea and leek curry, that nourish and detoxify the body and sate the appetite. We gave the curry a try one night, then eagerly spooned the leftovers over brown rice for lunch the next day. Cleansing has never tasted this good (well, it’s never tasted much like anything).

Makes 4 servings (about 4 cups)
Start to Finish: 40 minutes

Ingredients

2 large leeks, white and light-green parts only, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tablespoon coconut oil

½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more for seasoning

2 tablespoons miso paste, plus more for seasoning

1 tablespoon curry powder, plus more for seasoning

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

Two 13.5-ounce cans coconut milk

1 cup low-sodium or homemade vegetable stock or broth

1 cup fresh shelled peas or frozen peas (thawed if using frozen)

¼ cup cilantro leaves

Thai curry paste, for seasoning (optional)

Directions

1. In a large bowl, combine the leeks with the garlic, coconut oil and sea salt. Using your hands, massage the coconut oil into the leeks until the oil has melted and is equally distributed.

2. In a blender, combine the miso paste, curry powder, turmeric powder, coconut milk and vegetable stock. Blend until well combined. Add the leek-garlic mixture, peas and cilantro, then blend until smooth and well combined.

3. Transfer the mixture to a large saucepan set over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the bite of the leeks has softened and the curry is warm and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with additional salt, miso paste, curry powder or curry paste, if using. Serve immediately with desired accompaniments.

Finishing Touches

It's the details that count! Try these tips

  • When using miso paste to season the curry, place the desired amount in a small bowl and mix it with a cup of the curry until dissolved before adding the mixture back to the saucepan.

  • Traditional miso lends the soup a mellow flavor. If you want a more pronounced miso taste, Nakayama recommends using chickpea miso.

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