Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Polly Leeks a Recipe...

On Easter Sunday I made a big pot of Leek and Potato Soup; which of course didn't get eaten on Sunday. It did come in useful yesterday as a quick lunch before our hike up Croghan Hill; and again today.

This soup is really a variation of David Canter's Cranks Recipe Book soup, which has evolved over the years. It is easy to make, very easy to eat and it is TASTY, warm and filling. I collect my vegetable waters; although they tend to get used immediately, leaving me seeking an alternative. You can use water, but that tends to be a bit tasteless.

Another alternative to the prescribed amount of stock is to use Bouillion; a commercially prepared vegetarian alternative to the ubiquitous Oxo cube. That said they do make a Vegetable Oxo cube, but I tend to stay away from that in the belief that it is packed with oodles of mono-sodium glutamate. It is strictly for emergencies.

Of course being a truly lazy cook who prefers the taste of real vegetable stock in her soups I often chuck in a carrot, a bit of turnip and some celery sticks and leaves into the mixture and make the stock as I go along. I don't bother to remove the extra bits at the end; I just liquidize the whole lot , add a bit of milk and serve it with a swirl of cream which serves to highlight the pretty light green coloured soup.

Leek & Potato Soup (serves 8)

3 medium leeks
1 medium potato
1 celery stick and leaves off the head of celery
1 medium carrot
1 3 inch peice of swede
1 pt water
salt and pepper
1 large knob of butter
1/2 pint milk
cream for garnishing


Sautee the chopped leeks and celery in melted butter until the leek becomes translucent.

Add diced potato, carrot, swede to the saucepan, stir well and allow to cook for 2 mins.

Add the water, salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Cover saucepan and allow to simmer for approx 20 -25 mins. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Liquidize the cooled soup, adding the milk as required.

Return to a gentle heat, adding any left over milk and re-heat slowly until at serving temperature.

Garnish each bowl with a swirl of cream & a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper and serve.


If you are feeling adventurous a great way of using up surplus root vegetables, ie parsnip, carrot, swede and potatoes is to make your own homemade crisps or game chips.

Simply shave the vegetables using a mandolin, or your potato peeler if you're like me, or even cut them very thinly with your favourite kitchen knife.

Take the resulting shavings and scatter them over hot oil. *

These are delicious when cool and drained on kitchen towel. Just nibble on them as they are with a sprinkle of rock salt or add them to your Leek and Potato Soup as a garnish.

*Do not drop them in as a bundle or they will stick together and the result will be over cooked on the outside and under cooked on the inside, ie not very nice. The same thing tends to happen if you place the shavings in the basket and then lower it into the oil.

Unfortunately none of the above seem to last for very long in our house. Perhaps that's a good sign! It's also an easy way to get vegetables into kids (and adults) who aren't too keen on their vegetables. We use up any surplus vegetables from our weekly organic basket this way and ensure that we stay healthy too!

I should probably have taken a couple of photo's, but it's too late now. The bowls and saucepan are soaking in the washing up bowl awaiting my attention; still, at least I managed to get something other than chocolate into the boys today...


Convenor said...

Could you give a little public exposure to two new blogs:


God bless you!

Polly Peirce said...

Thank you for contacting me and asking me to do this small favour for you.

I've written a couple of posts highlighting your own blog and the other two, here and on Polly's Peri-Wrinkle's and Peircing's.

It has certainly been food for thought and lead to a number of heated conversations within the family circle!

I'm spreading the word, slowly but surely. I hope that this helps...