I still have a cold. I’m not good at not doing anything, so… Feed a cold, right?
Spring flowers are my favourite flowers, I grabbed them yesterday on a brief supply trip. There are even some snowdrops in the garden and the footpaths are beginning to have a genuinely dry look about them. I’m writing this whilst I’m waiting to finish a Blood Orange Meringue Pie, it’s on the step outside cooling as I type. I think I went on a little bit of a seasonal food spree, hence the leeks and blood oranges.
I love leeks. Beautiful colours and so silky in soup. Just wash them thoroughly, they’ve been banked up and hidden in soil so it gets into the leaves pretty thoroughly. Top and tail them, remove any grubby/tatty outer leaves and cut half way through the length. Pop them under running water so you can wipe dirt away with your fingers whilst you pull the leaves aside.
I always begin soup with onion and celery (carrot as well if it’s going to be tomatoey). Why onions when I’m using leeks? It’s a different onion flavour plus the slow braising of onion and celery help give the soup more depth, a bloody good chicken stock will also help. Translucent onions which are brown around the edge make food taste good.
Brown food tastes better!
So.. soup! It’s creamy and leeky and delicious and is really good with some sharp, jaw tingling cheddar melted onto some oven-crisped bread.
Makes a huge pot of soup, I’d at least half it if you don’t want to eat it for a few days (or freeze it!).
1 onion diced
3 sticks celery, chopped
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
6 leeks, cleaned and cut into 1 inch chunks
10 new potatoes or salad potatoes or any potatoes you have lying around, washed and in small chunks
2 chicken stock cubes*
Salt and Pepper
Biiiig pan time. Put the onion and celery in with the butter and oil. Coat everything in the oil and leave this on a low heat with the lid on while you wash and cut the leeks.
Put in all the leeks, if you think you need some more butter to coat them when they’ve wilted, go right on ahead. I love butter.
Wilt the leeks and put in the potatoes.
Add the stock cubes and cover everything generously with boiling water.
Boil until the potatoes are cooked.
Use an immersion hand blender or a blender blender. Blitz away! I left a few bits, but not many. I don’t think I look attractive when I run into difficulty getting slippy leeks off a spoon with my face.
Taste it and adjust the seasoning. Even after adding stock cubes I required more salt.
If you want cheddar toasts, grate a little cheese onto slices of bread, pop under the grill until it’s the colour you want. I didn’t toast the bread first, I like it warm and soft.
*I use a lot of stock cubes. I get it, for someone who is.. well.. a food snob.. I use a lot of stock cubes. I also work a lot, I don’t have the time or money to roast an organic free range chicken every time I need chicken stock (unfortunately) but as I’ve said, oh so many times, Kallo cubes are a pretty good substitute.