Thursday, November 17, 2005

Leek and Potato Soup

It really is getting very cold here for us poor boys needing to use our fingers and hands with precision, crafting the most perfect pop-noir gems in the studio. Trying to play the bass at the moment reminds me of being in the school playground in winter and not being able to button my duffel coat because my fingers are too numb.
This makes me think of foods like meat and potato pie, chicken casserole and soup. All the comfort foods. The stuff that reminds you of years gone by. The tea and 2 slice that is the very fibre of your being, that which shaped you into the person you are today.
I put this soup together last night, in a bit of a hurry. It always tastes great and never fails to warm me up when I'm feeling cold. Unfortunately it doesn't actually improve bass playing. It does make getting out of bed and braving the cold a little easier though....(just a little).

What I Used:

2 small leeks
3 small potatoes (any that you like really)
1 shallot
frozen peas (a handful)
vegetable stock (or water)
olive oil
salt & pepper
parmesan shavings (optional to finish the soup)

What I Did:

  • finely slice the leeks and shallots, adding them to sweat gently in a pan with a little olive oil for around 5 mins.
  • wash the potatoes and cut them into something like 1/8 pieces, leaving the skins on. Add them to the same pan. Sweat down gently for a further 3 or so mins.
  • Add the fresh vegetable stock, stock cube mixed with water or just water, to the pan (ensuring that all the vegetables are covered by about an inch of liquid).
  • gently simmer for about 20 mins, adding the peas in the last 8 or so mins. Cook until the potatoes are soft to the point of a knife. Be ready to add more stock or water as you go, given that some of the liquid will cook away.
  • set aside to cool for about 10 mins.
  • using a slotted spoon, remove around 3/4 of the vegetables and put them into a blender, with about 1/2 the liquid. Blend until smooth.
  • Return to the pan on a medium heat and stir, seasoning to taste.
  • Spoon into bowls, optionally adding a few parmesan shavings and some cracked black pepper.


Retaining some of the vegetables whole gives a nice combination of a smooth, thick consistency with the occasional chunk of potato to bite into.

When chopping leeks you should keep the green tops very fine and chop the white part a bit chunkier. This is based on the fact that the tops are tougher since they have been above ground and seen more weather, whereas the white parts have grown underground and are more delicate and soft.

Adding things like Parmesan shavings or a little cream will give a slight variation in the flavour but mostly adds to the presentation of the finished soup.

Soups like this freeze well so it pays to make a big batch. It's better to have some in the freezer rather than the raw veg hanging around in the fridge rotting away.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

That shoulds yummy and perfect for fall/winter.