Leek and Potato Soup and a basic recipe for just about any fresh soup you fancy

This has got to be the easiest soup recipe going, also one of the healthiest and nutritious. Again this is a one pot soup where it all goes in together and on together. You can make this gluten free as I always do, its also dairy free and Vegan. Personally I have never seen the need to add either cream or soured cream to this recipe but saying that I do respect everyones personel preferences. So here goes, This recipe will easily feed four good hungry adults and if you serve this with the wholemeal bread you have a lunch that will get you through until dinner quite easily. Also this soup recipe whilst great on its own can also serve as the base for a huge range of soups and by using the potatoes as the thickening agent, you cut out the need to use flour.

Recipe

600g Peeled potatoes this will give you about 540g after peeling. Chop them or slice them into 2-3cm pieces.

2 Medium onions sliced roughly

500g Leeks now just use the white parts only and any green tops left just keep for vegetable stock. Roughly sliced into 2cm pieces and please wash well as they are fond of grit and mud. Yes I have made the mistake of not washing them enough. You wont get away with the crunch of grit by saying its black pepper.

1500mls of vegetble stock TBH I use Kallo stock cubes they are GF, DF, WF organic and vegan and to be honest they are as close to homemade as I can find.

Small bunch of parsley. Pick off the top and chop and cut the stalks in 4cm pieces and wash well as they are going in the pot.

2 bay leafs. These are going in the pot as well but do not liquidise them so remember to take them out.

Method:

You need a pot that needs at least 5lts capacity.

Dissolve your stock cubes in the 1.5lt of hot water

Put absolutely everthing (Except the picked chopped parsley) in the pot with the stock cubes and water and put on a low heat with the lid on.

Simmer the mix for approximately 50 minutes which is enough time for you to make the wholemeal bread or have a cup of tea or as I did yesterday make the magdalenas mix to make a base for the cheesecake.

When the potatoes have cooked through, then everything else is also ready you simply use a hand blender to liquidise it all ( Take the pot off the heat when you are doing this, make sure its on an even surface. I do think safety first and always try to hold the pot using a cloth as you liquidise it). Add the chopped parsley and some salt and pepper to taste. At this stage if you want to add some dairy then please do.

Now essentially this soup is ready but if you want to bump up the nutrition levels you can do the following additions.

You can add 200g of frozen peas straight to the hot soup now and liquidise and serve straight away, this ups your intake of vitamin C, folate, vitamin B1 and fibre. This also makes the soup a very nice green colour and is a great way to get the kids eating peas without them knowing it. Also the flavour of it is in my opinion even better. Plus by not cooking them out your vitamins are not destroyed or lost.

Another option and one we do a lot especially in winter is while the soup is still whole. I add one full head of brocolli that I chop into 2cm pieces including the florets and the stalk and cook for four minutes and then liquidise. Brocolli is a real anti cancer vegetable while also being rich in vitamin C, fibre and vitamin K. Again by adding it just before liquidising the soup you protect all of the goodness. If you do this you may have to add some water or stock because the fibre content of brocolli is in itself a natural thickener.

What we also tend to do with this soup indeed what we do with all soups in this family is grate a small mountain of cheese on top predominantly parmesan or cheddar and the drizzle a good extra virgin olive oil on top, yet again all optional but it does add to the richness and flavour and the olive oil is rich in antioxidants and helpful fatty acids which are good for the old ticker. While cheese in moderation has high levels of calcium and omega 3 fatty acids. These are all optional additions and as a family we eat all our recipes so therefore I tell you what we do with our food.

Thats it as you can see this basic recipe can become the base of lots of different soups and lots of different flavours work. One last thing to bear in mind is that different potatoes have different starch levels so some potatoes will give you a thicker or lighter soup so dont be afraid to add a little extra stock if you feel you need it. In this house we have a tendency to like really thick soups. Any questions please ask and I shall try to answer.

Take care of each other, Liam

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