“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
"Winter is dead.”
~AA Milne, when we were very young
NOTE: I am away at the moment helping my mother with her treatment for lung cancer. I have set up a few posts to post whilst I am away as a special surprise. Some are new and some are reposts of old favourites that you may have forgotten, or if you are a new reader may not even have seen. I'll be back at the end of May, but in the meantime . . . Enjoy!
PS - I will only have sporadic internet use, so if you ask a question and I don't get back to you . . . it's not that I don't want to. It just may take me a while.
Thursday, 30 December 2010
Potato and Leek soup is a real favourite over here in the UK. Thick and creamy and filled with lovely leeks and potatoes. Filling and delicious.
I like to put my own spin on things though, and so today I made a baked potato and leek soup.
Lovely leeks, softened in lots of butter along with some garlic . . .
and then simmered in rich chicken stock. Blitzed with a whole baked potato until smooth and creamy . . .
Rich and tasty cheddar cheese is then stirred in to melt, along with some milk and sour cream. What could get any better . . .
Nothing . . . well, not unless you consider adding a topping of more grated cheddar cheese, some chopped spring onion and fried bacon . . .
Everything tastes better with bacon, does it not!!!!
*Baked Potato and Leek Soup*
A delicious version of the always popular leek and potato soup!
2 medium baking potatoes (about 8 ounces each)
4 TBS unsalted butter
2 medium leeks (white and light green parts) washed, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pint of chicken stock (2 cups)
1 pint water (2 cups)
4 ounces milk (1/2 cup)
250ml of sour cream (1/2 cup)
4 thick slices of dry cure smoked streaky bacon, cut into 1/2 inch dice
4 ounces of strong cheddar cheese, grated
2 spring onions, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Wash the potatoes really well, pick with a fork in several places, and then place into the heated oven right on the rack and bake for about 1 hour, until tender. Let cool completely.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic. Cook ,stirring occasionally until softened, about 10 minutes. Season with some salt. Add the chicken stock and water. Simmer until the leeks are very tender, about 20 minutes.
While the leeks are cooking fry the bacon pieces in a skillet over medium heat, until crisp and browned. Drain well on paper towelling and set aside.
Cut one of the baked potatoes in half lengthwise and then into quarters. Remove the skin and chop it up. Set the potato flesh aside for later. Cut the remaining potato into chunks. Add this along with the skin of the other potato to the leeks. Puree the soup with an immersion (stick) blender until smooth. Whisk in the milk, sour cream and half of the cheese, whisking until the cheese is melted. Cut the potato flesh into 1/2 inch chunks and add to the soup. Taste and adjust seasoning as required with salt and pepper. Keep warm, but do not allow to boil.
Serve hot and ladled into heated bowls. Sprinkle with the remaining cheddar, some of the bacon bits and some spring onion.