The good thing about soups is that they are very easy and cheap to make (unless you decide on lobster and caviar as the main ingredients!), very forgiving if you get the quantities slightly wrong, or if you need to swap ingredients, yet very tasty and impressive.
This is a very basic and simple soup, yet it is one which is many peoples favourite.
The beauty of it is that it can be altered in consistency or blended slightly to give more texture and still be absolutely delicious!
Serves: 4-6 people
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
4 Large leeks
1 Medium onion – chopped into small pieces
2 Medium sized potatoes – peeled and chopped into smallish cubes
850ml Vegetable stock
275 ml Milk Salt and black pepper to taste
2 tbs cream or crème fraiche
Fresh herbs – chopped parsley or snipped chives
Begin by trimming the leeks, discarding the tough outer layer. Now split them in half lengthways and slice them quite finely, then wash them thoroughly in two or three changes of water to get rid of any dirt. Drain well.
In a large, thick-based saucepan, gently melt the butter, then add the leeks, onions and potatoes, stirring them well with a wooden spoon so they get a nice coating of butter. Season with salt and pepper, then cover and let the vegetables sweat (not browning) over a very low heat for about 15 minutes.
After that, add the stock and milk, bring to simmering point, cover and let the soup simmer very gently for a further 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft – if you have the heat too high the milk in it may cause it to boil over.
Now you can put the whole lot into a blender,or use a hand blender (leave it to cool a little first) and blend to a purée. If you have to blend the soup in batches, make sure you have a bowl to hand to put the first batch into. For a different texture try blending only half the soup and then add back into the original mix.
Now return the soup to the saucepan and reheat gently, tasting to check the seasoning. Add a swirl of cream or crème fraîche before serving and sprinkle with the freshly snipped chives or parsley.