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Saturday, 25 October 2014

Leek and potato soup recipe

Leek and potato soup
LEEK & POTATO soup is a classic recipe - add cream or use milk. But what type of milk should you use?  Full fat or semi-skimmed milk? The reason I prefer to use full fat milk is because it doesn't split when heated. There is the potential for semi-skimmed milk to split. So what happened when I used semi-skimmed milk today because I didn't have any full fat milk? I was surprised to find the milk didn't split, although the top of the soup looked very frothy and messy. I was being more careful and ensured the soup was cooked on a very low heat. Simmering rather than overheating. All this didn't matter at all, once it had gone through the blender. It tasted just as I would have expected.
Soups are generally quick and easy to make and very economical.  One of the local supermarkets was selling 500g packs of leeks for just 65p this week. The great thing is, leeks are now in season and taste so much sweeter. With very few calories, you could add a couple of spoonfuls of double cream to the finished soup. Who would think this creamy soup is low in calories too - at around 150 calories per portion.
Here's our recipe for a creamy leek and potato soup:
Ingredients - serves 4
500g leeks, sliced
200g potatoes e.g. Maris Piper, or King Edwards, finely chopped
one small onion, chopped
one bay leaf (optional)
20g butter
teaspoon of oil
250ml whole milk
approx 500ml stock - vegetable or chicken
salt/pepper if necessary
Wash the leeks and slice. Reserve half a leek for decoration.

Heat the butter in the base of a large saucepan and add the chopped leeks, potatoes and onion. Stir to coat with butter then simmer for around seven or eight minutes with the lid firmly on. Check the vegetables are not sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Add enough stock to cover the ingredients (500-600ml should be enough).

Add a bay leaf if you have one.

Leave to cook for around 20 minutes when the vegetables should be soft.

Add the milk and simmer for a further 5-10 minutes.

In a separate pan, heat a small amount of butter and cook the reserved sliced leeks for 5 minutes until soft. 

Remove bay leaf, allow soup to cool slightly, then blend.

Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Some stock cubes can be quite salty, so always taste before adding extra seasoning.

Optional: add a swirl of fresh cream if you wish, although the soup tasted very creamy without the cream!

Decorate with the leeks and chives.

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