1 leek, trimmed, white and light green section only, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
5 large organic celery stalks, trimmed, chopped
1 cup fresh fennel (aka anise), chopped
1 potato, peeled, diced
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Water or light broth, as needed
Plain hemp, nut, or other non-dairy milk, as needed
For slow cooker-
Drizzle a scant amount of olive oil into the crock. Add the leek and garlic and stir to coat. Toss in the celery, fennel and potato. Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste. Cover with just enough fresh water or light broth to cover the top of the vegetables. Cover and cook on High for about 4 hours or until the vegetables are fork tender.
Drizzle a bit of olive oil into a soup pot and heat over medium heat. Add the leek, stir for a minute; add in the garlic and stir for another minute. Add the celery, fennel and potato; stir briefly; toss in a little salt and pepper. Pour in enough fresh water or light broth to cover the tops of the veggies. Cover and bring to a simmer. When soup is simmering, lower heat and continue to simmer until all the veggies are tender- roughly 40 to 45 minutes.
When the vegetables are fall apart tender: Blend the soup with an immersion blender till smooth. (Or puree in batches in a blender or Vita-Mix- when using hot liquids- be careful to cover tightly!) Stir in enough hemp milk to make it creamy and return it to the stove, gently heating and stirring. Taste test for seasoning adjustments. We made pan toasted croutons, but you could also serve this delicate soup with a pinch of chopped dill or parsley on top, if you prefer.