Lemon Potato Leek Soup with Toasted Hazelnuts

Well folks, it is officially soup season (but honestly, when isn't it?!).  I don't know about you, but here in Columbus we have had some frigid temps this week (wind chills below zero...umm no thanks). These temps make me want to live in slippers and flannel with a blanket wrapped around me at all times. Preferably on my couch. With cookies baking in the oven. And hot chocolate. Lots of hot chocolate. 

The cold weather also makes me crave soup! My love affair with soup is so strong right now. I just want to cozy up to a big bowl of hot, nourishing, warming soup. And that's exactly what I have been doing.  

I made this soup last weekend and have been eating it every day since. It is incredibly comforting (hiiiiiii potatoes!) but also light and refreshing. This was my first time adding lemon zest to a soup and I'll be honest with you....it is life changing.

One of my brothers got me the cookbook Near & Far by Heidi Swanson for Christmas and it has quickly become one of my new favorite cookbooks. The recipe for this soup is very closely based off of her "Leek Soup" recipe. I only made a few small tweaks to mine. When I was browsing through her cookbook, the leek soup stood out largely because of the lemon zest. It really intrigued me. And for good reason. MAN, is it good! 

The broth is really the star of the show here. I love the combo of coconut milk and vegetable broth as the base and have used that combo often in other recipes. BUT THE LEMON ZEST. The zest takes it up like 3,487 notches. It provides just the right amount of brightness to this soup. 

The other show-stopper in this soup is the toasted hazelnuts. Do not skip the toasted hazelnuts. I repeat, DO NOT skip the toasted hazelnuts. Want to make your home smell like absolute heaven? Toast some hazelnuts. Adding the nuts to this soup is the icing on the cake. It is the perfect balance for such a light and bright soup. I'm thinking I should probably stop buying candles for our house and just make toasted nuts all the time. Just saying. 

OK - now go warm yourself up with a big bowl of this soup...what are you waiting for?!


Lemon Potato Leek Soup with Toasted Hazelnuts

Inspired and closely based off the "Leek Soup" recipe from the cookbook "Near & Far" by Heidi Swanson

|Serves 6-8|


  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large leeks, chopped
  • Zest of 2 large lemons
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 (14 oz) can cannellini beans
  • 3 small - medium yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets (about 1 small-medium cauliflower head)
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped
  • Chives, for garnish


  1. Add olive oil to a large soup pot over medium-high heat. When hot, stir in the leeks and saute until the leeks begin to soften, about 5 minutes. 
  2. Stir in the lemon zest, wait another 2 minutes, then add the vegetable broth and water. Bring to a simmer. 
  3. Stir in the coconut milk, rice, beans, potatoes, and cauliflower. Bring back up to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked. 
  4. Meanwhile, place chopped hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast in the oven at 300 (F) for about 7-10 minutes, or until golden brown and toasty. 
  5. Serve soup topped with toasted hazelnuts, chives, and additional lemon zest (if desired) and enjoy!


  • This soup makes a LOT. I have been packing it in my lunches everyday this week and have more than enough, but feel free to half the recipe for a smaller batch :)