Tuesday, 15 January 2013
With much of the country blanketed in snow and cold temperatures, today is a the perfect day to cook up a nice pot of soup. Hand warming and soul enriching soup. We haven't gotten any snow here in Chester, not yet anyways . . . but it is wet and it is cold, and a hot bowl of soup is more than welcome.
Back home they laugh at me when I tell them that it's cold here and that it's -2 or -3. Cold to them is -27! I am glad that it doesn't get that cold here, but cold is relative. Cold to me is cold . . . and it doesn't matter if it is -2 or -27. When you're cold . . . you're cold! End of.
This is a simple soup that is prepared quickly using simple ingredients. Leeks, potatoes . . . vegetable stock . . . and the Stilton that I have leftover from Christmas. It's tasty and hits the spot perfectly . . . with a little hint of richness from the cheese, which tips it over from ordinary to extraordinary . . . well it does for me at any rate.
Todd likes to have his with a couple slices of thick white bread . . . I prefer crackers . . . but I also love it with a nice scone or two.
Equally at home in a mug as it is in a bowl . . . I like to crumble my scone over top. My ex boss would call that being common.
I'm not bothered. I don't mind being common. I'm just happy I have soup . . . and a scone. So there!
*Potato, Leek and Stilton Soup*
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Proof positive that the humblest of ingredients can be simply turned into some very special.
25g butter (2 TBS, scant)
2 medium leeks, trimmed, thinly sliced and washed thoroughly
250g floury potatoes (the type of potatoes you would use to make mash. 4 -5 medium potatoes)
(Peel and cut into thick slices)
1/2 litres of hot fresh vegetable stock (generous 5 cups)
2 bay leaves, broken in two
100ml single cream or evaporated milk (scant half cup)
fine sea salt and ground white pepper to taste
125g Stilton cheese, rind removed and crumbled (plus extra to serve) (1/2 cup)
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium/low heat. Add the leeks. Cook, stirring occasionally, without browning until softened. Add the potatoes, stock and bay leaves. (I crumble the bay leaves slightly to release more flavour.) Season to taste with fine seasalt and white pepper.
Bring to the boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are well softened. Remove from the stove. Fish out and discard the bay leaves. Add the stilton and cream. Blitz with a stick blender, or in a regular blender (in several batches and with care) until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
Ladle into heated bowls. Crumble some additional Stilton over each bowl. Serve.