Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Potato and leek soup: an ode to laziness

Down at the Barn the other day, leeks were cheap. They're usually not cheap at all, so even though it's not really the season for warm and comforting things any more, I still had to move on the mega-bargain and purchase 3 bunches of leeks.
Halfway through the shopping I realised that I would have to actually DO something with the leeks.
Over to the potatoes went I. Leek and potato soup: timeless. (Even though I would have liked to do something French and salady with them, or perhaps caramelising them to go with a roast something, I couldn't think of a recipe or be bothered looking for one. So soup it was.)

When I got home I ratted through the cookbooks in search of an easy recipe, but couldn't find one. Lazy, yes.
Anyway, here's my invented recipe. It turned out really well, but it did make quite a lot. Probably too much. I should have frozen half of it. Although if you were feeding six, it would do nicely.
Cheap and Lazy Potato and Leek Soup

  • 6 small potatoes, peeled and boiled till tender
  • 6 leeks, trimmed (use white part only), washed well and sliced
  • Splash of olive oil
  • Knob of unsalted butter
  • Black pepper and salt
  • Chicken stock (I used powder to make it up)
  • 3 rashers of bacon, trimmed and grilled to well-done
  • Herbs to taste

Put the leeks in a pan with the oil and butter. Cook them over slow heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15-20 minutes or until the leeks are transparent and beginning to caramelise and stick to the pan. Transfer leeks to a big pot and add the chopped potatoes and enough chicken stock to cover (about 1 to 1.5 L.) Deglaze the leek pan with water and add to pot. Simmer for 10 minutes and allow to cool. In batches, put the soup through the processor to puree it. You might like to add more stock if it's too thick. Add salt and pepper to taste, reheat. Just before serving, crumble some shards of bacon and a few herbs over each bowl of soup.

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