For those who are regular visitors to my recipe blog, you’ll know that I have a soft spot for soup! To some people, soup is boring – something that comes out of a can and the last vestige of the time pressed. But to me, soup is the Ultimate Bowl Food delivering on all levels: comfort, taste, flavour, nutrition, ease.
I couldn’t tell you the last time I bought soup. Instead, I bulk make soups and chill down or freeze. Yes, there is a little bit of prep and cooking, but a lot less than say cooking a roast dinner. It’s a great way to warm you up; use up vegetables or bit of meat and bones and from such humble ingredients comes the most delicious things to eat.
Setting aside modesty for a moment, I believe that my version of Potato and Leek soup is the best one you’ll taste. I really can’t recommend enough that you make this. It also makes the perfect base soup for a proper bowl of chowder if thinned out a little and some fresh fish added to it. Not a carrot to be seen, and easy on the cream. You’re welcome…
Ingredients (serves 4 as a soup or 6 thinned out more if using for base of a chowder):
- Knob of butter
- 1tsp of olive oil
- 50g smoked bacon lardons (I use Gubbeen here, but Baltimore Pig is also good)
- 3 small or 1 large leek cleaned, trimmed and sliced into thin rounds
- 250g potatoes, peeled and cut into apx 3cm cubed pieces
- 500ml of vegetable stock (if using a cube/gel only use half in 500ml of water)
- 250ml hot water
- 25g flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Over a medium heat, slowly heat the oil and butter together.
- Add the bacon lardon and fry gently until starting to colour but not too dark (this will ruin the final colour of the soup
- Add the leeks, stir through and cook until softened.
- Add the chopped potatoes. Stir and cover with the bacon and leek mix. Cook for a minute or two, then add the stock.
- Cover, turn down the heat and cook until the potatoes are softened and cooked through but not falling apart. Add a little more of the hot water if needed.
- Add everything to a blender, blend until smooth. If too thick add the remaining hot water a little at a time until the required consistency is gained.
- Return to the pan and heat through. At this stage taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. You can also add more water to thin out further especially if you are turning the soup into the base of your chowder.
- Spoon into bowls and garnish with a drizzle of cream, some fried crispy lardons, a couple of fried potato slices and a leaf of parsley. Finish with a final grind of black pepper and serve up immediately with some crusty bread and butter.