Student food blog: Leek and potato soup

Sophie EdmondsLeeks and potatoes. Two cheap vegetables that are a bit boring separately but when they are put together, magic happens.

I regret not making this earlier, at the peak of the leek season. They are slowly becoming more expensive and smaller, although you can always rely on the uni fruit and vege market to have nice large ones there for a reasonable price.

One of the guys who works there (Fruit boy, I fondly call him) gave me a very odd look when I saw some leeks and got more excited about them than is acceptable. Let's be honest here: I only went to buy that leek so I could talk to him again.

There's a photo on the right of the potatoes next to the leeks. The potatoes look really small. But they were like the size of my face! That is how huge my leeks were.

As soon as I got home with the leeks I had to call my mum and be like "uuuh, how do I make leek and potato soup?".

I was referred to the timeless wisdom of Delia Smith.

Who is Delia Smith you ask? Wikipedia will tell you. I was most horrified when my flatmate's mum didn't know who she was. The worst bit is that her mum is English. I just shook my head in disbelief.

I added a couple of things, like the onion and garlic and reduced the number of leeks and potatoes (I didn't have four leeks or four potatoes). I also reduced the butter content. Yes, I know things taste better with butter but I just compensated with a bit of extra salt.

I made a huge soup pot of this then portioned most of it away into small containers and froze it, all in preparation for the looming exam period.

Just a note about slicing leeks before we start. Chop the very end-root part of the leek off and chop the leafy section of the leek off too. Slice the leek stem in half, lengthways. Then rinse the exposed leek in cold water to get rid of any residual dirt.

Make parallel slices lengthways down the half-stem, sort of like you would cut carrot sticks. Then dice the leek by slicing perpendicular to the direction of the stem (i.e., perpendicular to the previous slices).

Leek and potato soup
(Adapted from Delia Smith's recipe)

Makes 8 portions

3 large leeks, well-washed and sliced
3 large potatoes
30g butter
850ml chicken stock (or vege stock)
275ml milk (whole or trim, either works)
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
salt and pepper to taste

Place a large stockpot on a medium heat.

Sauté the onions and garlic in the butter until translucent.

Add the sliced and diced leek and diced potato, stir to coat in the butter. Pop the lid of the stockpot on and let the leeks sweat for 15 minutes on a low heat. This is to soften and cook them.

Add the stock and milk and bring the soup to a simmer. Cook for about another half an hour or until the potatoes are soft and cooked all the way through. Make sure it doesn't boil.

Either use a hand-held whizz stick or patiently use a blender to puree the soup into a smooth consistency.
If using a blender, return the soup to the stockpot to reheat before serving.

We served ours with a dollop of sour cream and a good grind of black pepper.

Remember to let the soup completely cool down before placing it in the fridge or freezer or you risk raising the temperature of everything inside. Try turning your sink into a cold-water bath. After all, the heat transfer rate of water is much higher than air.

So if you haven't already tried a good warming and filling leek and potato soup, give this one a go. It's so easy.

Enjoy!

Sophie