Leek And Potato Soup

A classic, easy to make soup for a hearty evening supper. Serve with croutons and garnish with watercress. This recipe makes the most of creamy potatoes with pungent leeks. The broth is fantastic because of the depth of flavour.

Preparation time: 20 to 30 minutes: Cooking time: 20 to 30 minutes, Serves 6.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil or 50g butter depending on how rich or healthy it needs to be
  • 1 small-medium onion, sliced
  • 300g to 400g/9-10oz potatoes, peeled and cubed (1cm pieces). I use a mix but I think Kerr Pinks is excellent.
  • 450g which is about 2 medium sized leeks, sliced. I prefer to use the white parts and save the green parts for a stock of any sort.
  • 2 litres/2 pints vegetable stock. Use the green tops of the leeks. Or use a similar amount of chicken stock
  • 150ml/5fl oz double cream, whipping cream or crème fraîche
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • (optional) 125ml full-fat milk

To finish

  • the white part of 1 leek
  • a small knob of butter
  • finely chopped chives
  • watercress

Preparation

  1. Heat the oil or melt the butter in a large pan. Ideally if butter is used it should foam and I must say I prefer butter to oil.
  2. Add the onions, potatoes and leeks. Cook for up to 10 minutes or until these vegetables are starting to soften but are not coloured and they are well covered.
  3. Season the mixture well with salt and black pepper and toss.
  4. Put a disc of greaseproof paper knowns as a cartouche on top of the vegetables to keep in the steam. Cover the pan with its lid.
  5. Remove the paper or lid. Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Season well and simmer until the vegetables are tender for another 5 minutes. Do not overcook as this destroys the flavour.
  6. Blend the whole lot with a hand blender or in a blender until smooth. Prepare in small batches if needs be.
  7. Reheat in a clean pan, stir in the cream, milk if needed or crème fraîche, heat through and serve.

To finish the soup, finely shred the white part of 1 leek and gently cook it in a small knob of hot butter for a few mins until it is softened but not coloured. Reheat the soup to a gentle simmer and add some extra stock at this point if the soup is too thick for your liking, then pour into warmed bowls.

Drizzle the remaining cream over each serving, top with a little pile of buttered leeks and a scattering of chives and black pepper and serve at once.

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