Potato and Leek Soup
Still Winter…Still Cold!
I really shouldn’t complain about winter in Melbourne. Yes, the air gets chilly…Yes, it rains…Yes, it gets dark early…but it NEVER reaches sub zero temperatures. In fact it hardly ever gets close to zero and it doesn’t snow! You could of course go to the snow resorts and do some snow stuff but as I grew up around the corner from the beach, I am more of a beach girl.
The fact that I like to pretend during winter that it is summer by turning up the central heating and dressing like I’m on a tropical island is a clear indicator that I’m not about to visit the snow resorts anytime soon. I have been to said resorts and it was really cold outside and the sky was an amazing blue but I stayed indoors by the open fire drinking wine for most of it! Snow looks awesome but seeing it on the telly is quite enough for me.
All that aside, I don’t hate winter. My birthday is in winter. I love to wear boots. I love drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows. I love slow cooked comfort food. I cook more in winter than I do in summer. I love winter food, especially soup…pumpkin soup being one of my favourites. Potato and Leek soup comes in a close second best for me.
I worked out, as I was making potato and leek soup for dinner tonight, that I hadn’t made this for about 2 years. How do I know? I remember that I made it as a starter for guests one winter night (I remember meals by the company with whom it was shared)…also by the fact that these guests have never been invited back to our house as they are not very pleasant people…I was pleasant and hospitable, cooked a crankin’ meal but no dice…they ain’t comin’ back!
So, of course, the poor soup copped the blame and it has taken me 2 years to separate my distaste for those people with the soup. It’s like when you get food poisoning and you can’t eat whatever made you sick ever again. In light of this, I added some spices this time, so it’s not exactly the same soup…a new beginning…welcome back potato and leek soup :)
Potato and Leek Soup
- 2 – 3 tbs olive or garlic oil
- 1 brown onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 4 medium (about 700g) peeled desiree, pink eye or pontiac potatoes, cut into 2cm cubes
- 2 leeks, pale section only, washed, dried, thinly sliced
- 1.25L (5 cups) vegetable stock
- 125ml (1/2 cup) thickened cream
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tbs finely chopped fresh parsley
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until the onion softens. Add the potato and leek and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until leek softens.
Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and gently boil, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until potato is soft. Remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes to cool.
Transfer one-third of the potato mixture to the jug of a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a clean saucepan. Repeat in 2 more batches with the remaining potato mixture.
Finely chop pancetta and fry until crunchy. Tip out onto absorbant paper.
Place the soup over medium heat. Add the cream and stir to combine. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until hot. Taste and season with salt.
Ladle the soup among serving bowls. Sprinkle with parsley and top with fried and crunchy pancetta. Serve immediately.