Leek Top and Ginger Broth with Vegetable Garnish

Preparation info

  • Serves


    as a light first course
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

By Elizabeth Schneider

Published 2001

  • About

This is a handy, fat-free way to use up leek trimmings. Consider it a general guide, not a strict recipe. Cilantro or parsley stems are a pleasant addition, but not necessary. Add other aromatics: bits of celeriac, parsley root, parsnip, carrot, or dried mushrooms. Toss in shrimp shells for sweetness. Ignore the garnish and use the broth as a soup base; or freeze it for future soup-making.


  • About 1 quart leek greens/trimmings
  • 1 quart water
  • ¼ cup sliced ginger (no need to peel)
  • 2 celery stalks with leaves, sliced
  • Sliced cilantro (coriander) or parsley stems
  • About 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 ounces snow peas
  • 4 red radishes
  • 1 small unwaxed cucumber (Oriental, Middle Eastern, or pickling type)
  • Greens from 1 scallion (green onion)
  • 2 tablespoons whole cilantro or mint leaves


    1. Slice leek greens. Rinse in several changes of water. Combine in pot with water, ginger, celery, cilantro stems, and ½ teaspoon salt. Simmer, covered, 30 to 45 minutes, to extract flavor. Strain out solids. Add lime juice and salt to taste.
    2. Meanwhile, zip strings from snow peas. Cut pods into thin diagonal strips. Slice radishes into paper-thin rounds. Cut cucumber into tiny dice. Cut scallion green into hair-thin strips.
    3. Bring broth to a boil. Stir in snow peas and cook just until tender, a minute or so. Add radishes, cucumber, scallion, and cilantro. Bring to a boil. Serve hot.