Saffron and Lemon Soup


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • For



Appears in

Cooking at the Merchant House

By Shaun Hill

Published 2000

  • About

This was a regular menu item at Robert Carrier’s restaurant in Islington in the early 1970s. In those days we used stock cubes and water rather than stock, but it still seemed to taste okay.


  • 250g (9 oz) leeks
  • 150g (5 oz) potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 litre ( pints/ cups) chicken stock
  • 4 teaspoons white wine
  • 4 tablespoons cream
  • 1 lemon
  • chopped chives, to garnish
  • salt and pepper


Wash the leeks and cut them into 3 cm ( in) pieces. Peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes the same size as the leeks.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sweat the onion. Add the leeks, potato and saffron. Pour on the stock and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes until the potatoes are done.

Purée the soup in a blender, then return to the pan. Stir in the white wine and half the cream. Season to taste.

To finish, acidulate the remaining cream with a few drops of lemon juice. Cut four slices from the lemon and spread the cream over each slice. Place the soup in serving bowls, float the lemon slices on top and sprinkle with chives.