In Korea, eating out at a restaurant costs about the same as buying ingredients and cooking for yourself.  There are pros and cons to this: on the one hand, it gives you the opportunity to taste what the community has to offer; on the other hand this can be difficult as a vegetarian.  Plus, sometimes you just want to stay home and cook a nice meal. J and I have been on a healthy soup bender lately, so I’ve been trying my hand at being resourceful in a country with limited options.  On a chilly day like today, I always crave warm hearty soups.  Potatoes and leeks immediately came to mind, as they’re some of the only “Western” vegetables available in the market that I live in.  It’s also a bit of a challenge to get cream or half-and-half, so I challenged myself to come up with a tasty recipe using soy milk instead.  Turns out, I actually prefer the vegan version.  It turned out great, and is an easy meal that won’t break the bank.  Enjoy!

Prep time: 5-10 minutes

Cook time: 15-20 minutes


  • 3 potatoes, washed, peeled, and cubed
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 50 g green onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 c soy milk
  • 3/4 c water
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1tsp mixed herbs
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Heat oil in a pot on low heat. Added chopped garlic and sauté for two minutes, stirring semi-frequently to avoid overcooking.  Add leeks and spring onions, and cook for 5 minutes.  Next, add soy milk and water, and bring to a boil.  Add potatoes and herbs, and allow the soup to boil until the potatoes are fully cooked (about 10 minutes).  Remove the pot from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.  Using a hand blender, blend the mixture until smooth (about 2 minutes).  Serve hot. I topped this one with sriracha- a Thai/Vietnamese hot sauce- and pan fried dough balls.

Yields 4 servings