Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and celery and cook for a few minutes.Next add the leeks, the garlic and one tablespoon of a plant-based butter. Cook over medium for about 20 minutes until they are soft. Stirring often.
Next add the potatoes, stock, thyme bay leaf and a small pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Season with salt and black pepper, bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.
Remove the bay leaf and any stems of thyme. Using a handheld blender, blend the soup quickly, in quick pulses. Be careful not to over blend the soup.
Top with chopped chives.Serve immediately.
Leeks - thoroughly clean the leeks. Remove the rough outer layer of the leeks, slice the leeks lengthways and open each leek like a fan, under a running tap let the water run through the layers for a minute to get rid of any grit or soil.
Potatoes - It's important to use the right potato for this soup. A floury potato is best, choose Maris Piper or Russets. Waxy potatoes will result in a gluey soup.
Blending the soup - Use a hand-held blender, and blend the soup in brief pulses. Do not over blend the soup, this will result in a gloopy soup. If there are any lumps of potato left I would use a potato masher to break down the potato.
Storing/Freezing/Reheating - Any leftover soup can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat the soup on the hob until piping hot, you may need to add a little water to loosen it up a bit. You can freeze this soup, leave the soup to cool then transfer to suitable containers and freeze for up to 3 months. For best results, defrost in the fridge overnight then reheat on the hob until piping hot. Again, you may need to add a little water to loosen up the soup.
Nutritional Information - is approximate and is calculated using an online nutrition tool. It is based on one serving.
Measurements - I weigh all my ingredients using an electric scale, all measurements are metric. Cup measurements are approximate.