Leek and Potato Soup

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

Floyd on Britain & Ireland

By Keith Floyd

Published 1988

  • About

This is a splendid winter soup if you cook it my way – a chunky, gutsy thing that, in fact, becomes a meal, and you just eat it with bread and drink some beer or wine. Alternatively, you can make it quite a refined little number for a starter for a carefully planned dinner party.

Ingredients

  • 2 lb (1 kg) leeks
  • 1 lb (500 g) potatoes
  • 4 oz 125 oz (4 g) butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 10 fl oz (300 ml) milk
  • Knob of butter
  • Chives to garnish
  • 4–6 tablespoons cream

Method

Use big winter leeks and cut off the top ragged green and the furry beard from the foot. This leaves you about 9 in. (25 cm) of leek. Strip off the coarsest outside leaves. Next slice the leeks into thin roundels and wash them and wash them and wash them under running cold water, at the same time spreading them into individual rings, until no grit or earth remains.

While these are draining – because they must be dry before you start to cook them – peel the potatoes and dice them into 1 in. (2.5 cm) cubes. Rinse them well under cold water and then dry them on some kitchen paper. Now take a big pot, melt the butter in it and throw in the leeks. Over a low heat – with the lid on – let the leeks soften; they will also reduce vastly in quantity. Now throw in your potato pieces, cover them with water and let them simmer for at least 30 minutes. Add a little salt and pepper and stir round with a fork so that the potato breaks up and you have a thick liquid almost like a purée. Next add the milk and simmer gently for another 30 minutes, until the soup is creamy and full of tender pieces of leek and lumps of potato. Season well with freshly ground pepper. Whisk in another knob of butter and serve.

That is the peasant version. You can refine it for your smart dinner party by following all of the above and leaving it to cool. Liquidise the lot in your food processor (you will now have quite a thick purée – not a soup – but you dilute this with a little chicken stock or more milk; OK, so you can use a cube, but you shouldn’t really), and, of course, gently re-heat it. Serve sprinkled with finely chopped chives and with 1 tablespoon of cream poured into each bowl.