Approx cost: €2.00
Approx calories (per regular serving): ~300
Approx preparation time: 60 minutes
As winter draws in and the harsh weather outside lays waste to the ground which seems to lie in a permanent state of perma-frost my mind goes towards hot meals. Out with cold salads and in with warm, nourishing, carbohydrate rich dishes which remind me of winter days from my childhood when I was always a happy guy when leek and potato soup was on the menu. The wonderful thing with this recipe is it’s cheap, and it’s simple. You can make it thicker by adjusting the amount of potatoes or the water and nothing needs to be precise here. If want to double the yield just chuck in roughly twice as much of everything and you’re good to go.
– 2 large leeks, with the very tops and bottoms trimmed off
– 4 or 5 large potatoes
– 2 onions
– 1 or 2 stock cubes
– 2 – 3 tsps ground nutmeg
– 3 litres water
– 0.5 litres milk
– Olive oil
– Dried thyme
– 3 – 4 tbsps cream
- Start off by chopping the onion roughly. It doesn’t need to be neat – it’s all going to be blended up later anyway. Heat about 2 tbsps of oil in a large pan and fry the onion for a couple of minutes until translucent.
- While the onion is frying, peel the potatoes and chop into medium sized chunks. When the onion is read, remove the pan from the heat and dump the whole load of chopped potatoes on top.
- Next, take the leeks. Remove the first one or two outermost layers. Take a sharp knife and cut into the leek, lengthways from the top to the bottom, as far as the centre. Earth has a habit of getting into the top of leeks and going down through the centre. Taking a bite of leek and finding crunchy, sandy dirt there isn’t my idea of fun. Once you’ve done this you can gently open the leek up under a running tap and rinse the layers.
- Squeeze excess water out and then chop into chunks about 1 centimetre wide. Place in the pan on top of the potatoes and add around 3 litres of water. It should cover the vegetables, but not by too much. Crumble in the stock cube. You could use two for this quantity of water if you wish. Personally I find leek a very flavoursome ingredient so it’s not so important in this soup. Add in maybe about a tablespoon of dried thyme, a couple of teaspoons of salt and pepper, cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn down and simmer for about 25-30 minutes, or until the potato is very soft.
- After this time, it’s time to get out your blender. If you don’t have one, proceed to step 6, although I recommend at least trying to smush it up a bit with a fork. Incidentally, if you don’t have a blender – get one! And for this recipe, you’ll probably want to remove the lid and simmer for another 20 minutes or so to reduce the liquid and make it more of a solid dish. Anyway, take your blender, and blend the soup well for 5 minutes or so, until all lumps are gone:
This: to this:
- Stir in the nutmeg, some salt and pepper, and the milk, tasting while adding to ensure the taste is to your liking, and return to heat to simmer for another 10 minutes or so. If you find the soup much too runny for whatever reason, continue to cook on a medium heat, uncovered, until the water has steamed away to your satisfaction.
- When nice and hot, serve into bowls. Add a dash of cream to the bowl and then draw spikes outwards from the centre of the cream to make a little pattern (if you want), and garnish with a sprig of parsley and enjoy! You’ll probably have a fair amount left over, so it’s great if you have some plastic containers which you can freeze any leftovers in for another day!