Cream leek and potato broth

Leek SoupIt’s the season of leeks and potatoes – and there’s plenty of local ones available. So here’s a traditional winter warmer. This is a lumpy rather than pureed soup and is so much better than any tinned version. Like most soups, it’s simplicity itself to make. Why don’t more people do it?

Don’t be tempted to put the stock in too early. Gently sautéing the vegetables until nearly cooked adds to the resulting flavour.
Serves two to four

Two leeks – split open and thoroughly washed
Two medium potatoes – peeled
One medium onion – peeled
Three carrots – peeled
Three sticks of celery
Two rashers of smoked bacon
125gm butter
Two litres of good vegetable stock
500ml of double cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chop the leeks, potatoes, onion, carrots, celery and bacon to a similar size – around that of a 1cm dice. Melt the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the potatoes, onions, carrots, celery and bacon. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are nearly done and then add the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes. Add the chopped leeks and simmer for a further five to ten minutes. Add the cream, bring back to the boil, adjust the seasoning and serve with warm crusty bread.

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