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Leek and Potato Soups

Leek and Barley Soup

Leek Salads

Creamy Leek Sauce

Leek and Bacon Sticks


Leek and Potato Soups

Warming, comforting soups that will bring you back to life when you are tired and played out. There are many variations but the important elements are to use twice the weight of leeks as of potatoes and to grind in plenty of black pepper. The soup can be very smooth, having been put through a food mill, or can have bits of finely chopped leek in it. The potato element should always be smooth so use left over mashed potato if you want to keep the pieces of leek whole. If you want the soup to be extra warming use some ground ginger as well as black pepper.
Leek and potato soup should be fairly thick so don’t add too much stock until you have cooked the leeks and potatoes. If the soup really is too thick you can always add more stock once it has been put through the food mill or liquidised.

 Posh leek and potato soup is called vichysoisse and is eaten cold. It is excellent in the late summer when the leeks are just becoming big enough to use or on one of those glorious early spring days when you want to pretend that summer has arrived. It is also good straight from the fridge! Hot, the soup has a different texture but just as good a flavour so the best plan is to make a lot and have it both ways.

Traditionally this is made with only the white part of the leeks so that the finished soup is very white and creamy but I prefer to also use the green of the leeks and a green celery stick so that the soup looks pale green, a colour that better reflects its fresh, light tang, imparted by the celery.

 Time taken 1 hour     Serves 2 twice or 4 once

Leeks soups30g butter
3 good sized leeks
1 stick celery
3 medium sized potatoes , about 500g (floury not waxy type)
1 litre light stock, poultry or vegetable
salt and white pepper if you have it but black will do
2 tablespoons double cream
chives and leaf celery (or the leafy ends of the celery stick) garnish 

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Clean, prepare and chop the leeks, you don’t have to cut them into tidy pieces since they will be put through a food mill. Gently cook the leeks in the melted butter until they are soft then add the chopped celery and the peeled and diced potatoes. Pour over the stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and then simmer until the potatoes are really soft.
Put through a food mill or liquidise so that you have a really smooth soup. Stir in the cream and check the seasoning.
Just before serving snip up some chives and scatter them over the top of the soup. Pull apart an inner, tender branch of leaf celery into its component leaflets and scatter these over the top of the soup.
Serve with crusty white bread.