Saturday 26 November 2011

Leek and Potato Soup (with Paul Hollywood's crusty loaf- gorgeous)

Soup of the Day: Saturday - Leek and Potato

It seems that Leek and Potato soup is a firm favourite among those dining at Fancy Pans and as we have lots of leeks and have just harvested the potatoes, it’s on the menu today.  It’s  definitely a Saturday Soup as it’s substantial enough to be a meal in itself so is good at lunchtime or for supper (or both). If you can’t get to Fancy Pans to enjoy today’s delicious lunchtime treat, then I’ll share the recipe so you can make your own.

Firstly, get yourself some leeks, about three or four.  If they are a little spindly then you may need five or six.  Leeks are sneaky harbourers of the earth they have grown up in and are reluctant to part with it.  Don’t feel sorry for them, give them a good wash otherwise you will be spitting grit. Chop off that hard bottom bit and slice them lengthways, then chop them up.  You can give them another wash too, just to make sure.  Keep them to one side whilst you peel and chop a large unyun or a couple of smaller ones.  You can even use about six shallots – but that’s yer lot. 

Next you’ll need some potatoes – it doesn’t really matter what kind, just use whatever you have in.  How many you use it up to you.  I generally peel and chop about four good-sized ones, but if you like your soup to be more potato and leek, you  could use, say, six.  Alternatively, if you lean more towards the leek and potato, then only use two or three.  It’s a moveable feast.     

Find yourself a large saucepan – one which can easily hold five or six pints of likwid (that’s about three-and-a-half litres for you metric empathisers.)  Put about two ounces of unsalted butta into the pan (or salted if you prefer – it doesn’t really matter as you can adjust the seasoning later) and a small splash of vegetable oil.  If you are Vegan you won’t want to use butta, so more vegetable oil, or whatever your preference may be.  Melt the butta over a low heat then put the leeks , potatoes and unyuns into the pan and stir it up so that they are well-coated.  The oil should prevent the butta from catching and burning, but it’s still best to have a sneaky peek every so often to make sure all is well.  Put the lid on and leave them to cook, still over a low heat, for about ten minutes – just time for a quick cuppa.

Having boiled the kettle for your tea (or coffee) you can pour boiling water over vegetable stock cubes (or chikin, depending on whether you are vegetarian or not) – you’ll need about one-and-a-half to two pints of stock.  The one I use from the stock of stock in the fridge, is made from celery, unyun, carrot and herbs and the chikin one has had a carcass boiled in with the veg.  Tell you what, I’ll let you have the recipe another day.

Tea break over and the vegetables should be nice and soft (and hopefully not burnt).  If they aren’t soft enough, in your opinion, then leave them for a few more minutes.  Then pour in the stock and a generous sprinkle of white pepper (about half a teaspoon).  Leave it to simmer for about fifteen minutes.  Warm up about half-a-pint of milk when the fifteen minutes is nearly up.  If you are happy that all are well-cooked, take the pan off the heat and get ready to liquidise.  The trusty hand-blender is my preference, but you can, of course, pour it, a bit-at-a-time into a liquidiser, then, joosh.

The soup will be very thick so when it’s all back in the pan, pour in some of the milk and stir (or carry on blending if you are using the hand-blender) until you reach the thickness you desire.  Adjust the seasoning so that it tastes nice.

If you want to serve a posh soup at a dinner party, then you can let this go cold, in fact, chill it in the fridge, then stir in a splash of dry white wine before serving and call it Vichyssoise.

Personally, I prefer to drink the wine and have the soup hot with some warm, crusty bread, especially the kind Paul Hollywood makes. 
In fact, he’ll show you how to make it too if you click here:

Ingredient recap

Some leeks
Some potatoes
Onion (or shallots)
Vegetable oil
Vegetable stock, or chicken stock
White pepper
Salt if you want to

 For the crusty loaf ingredients, click here 

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