We have had an unbelievably cold couple of days here in the SouthEast of England. I believe this is the coldest winter that I have had to experience in the 9 1/2 years I've been living here.
We also have the most snow that I have ever experienced in my time over here. So much that the roads have become largely impassable. Well . . . brave souls may be venturing out upon them . . . but we just aren't that brave it seems.
This means that I am largely relying on my store cupboard and simple ingredients that I always have at hand, and in the freezer.
Two of which are leeks and potatoes. Just perfect to use in this delicious soup. Which is also perfect for these wintery days.
Yumm . . . rich, silky and comforting, all at the same time.
You can't get much better than this.
*Leek and Potato Soup*
Serves 6 to 8
This is a lovely rich soup, silky smooth and creamy. Delicious served with crusty garlic croutons.
50g butter (about 1/4 cup)
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped
1 pound leeks, the white part only, sliced
2 pints (4 cups) light chicken or vegetable stock
142 ml carton of whipping cream (slightly more than 1/2 cup)
125ml full fat milk (about 1/2 cup)
salt and pepper to taste
For the Garlic croutons:
1 small baguette, sliced into 1 inch thick slices
50g of butter, softened
1 fat clove of garlic, crushed completely
1 tsp chopped dried parsley
1/4 tsp ground paprika
Melt the butter for the soup in a large heavy saucepan. Once it begins to foam, add the vegetables and toss them with the butter to coat. Season to taste with some salt and black pepper. turn the heat down to very low, cover and allow to sweat, without colouring, for 10 minutes or so. The vegetables should be beginning to soften. Uncover and add the stock. bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Puree carefully in a blender or with a stick blender, blending until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning as required. Whisk in the milk and cream. Heat through without boiling.
In the meantime make the croutons. Lightly toast the baguette slices under the grill. Mix together the butter, garlic, parsley and paprika. Season with a bit of salt as required. Spread on the toasted baguette slices on one side. Place back under the grill until the butter is melted and toasty. Serve immediately with the hot soup.