It’s June and I’m writing about leek and potato soup. Bloody June. The weather has been truly atrocious this year in England and so instead of craving salads and light meals I want soup. So I have some, and to cheer myself up gild it with all manner of little touches to try and make it my ultimate leek and potato soup. I keep the stiff green tops and simmer them in the stock, I keep the potato peelings and bake them into a crispy garnish, and use the logic that everybody knows: bacon makes everything better.
Except the weather.
Leek and potato soup (serves 4 – 6):
4 rashers streaky bacon, diced
2 fat leeks, sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled
650g floury potatoes, peeled and diced (keep the peelings to one side for now)
1 litre chicken stock
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. In one saucepan get the stock to simmering point and add the green tops and the garlic while you get on with the rest. In a large casserole dish melt the butter, then fry the bacon over a medium heat until crisp and then remove. Make sure the leeks are washed and add to the pan, then pop the lid on and turn the heat down to low.
- Meanwhile, bake the potato peelings. Toss the peelings in a little oil, salt and pepper and put on a baking tray in one layer. Pop in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes until crisp and then put aside to cool.
- After 10 minutes the leeks should be softened so add the potato, crank up the heat and fry for a couple more minutes to warm up the potato. Fish the garlic out of the stock (it should be bobbing on top anyway) and add to the leeks and potatoes. Discard the green leek tops and add the stock to the pan. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes or until the potato is tender. Blitz a bit with a food processor until it’s the texture you like (I like thick but not pureed, but hey-ho).
- Ladle out the soup into bowls and top with the bacon and crispy potato skin.