This week I went to my first Christmas market of the year. December hit and the time to get started on my Christmas shopping had arrived, so we drove to Nottingham to check out their annual winter market. It was gloriously sparkly and inviting and wafts of roasted meats and mulled wine hung in the air as we strolled through. There were no end of wonderful looking places to eat and drink and some cracking stalls selling novelty fare. It is so easy to spend hours shopping..conveniently getting side tracked with food and drink. After all, you can’t go shopping on an empty belly can you?? And..it’s cold..so food and perhaps a cup of glühwein to keep you going are an essential!
Christmas markets mean that winter is officially here.
And winter equals soup.
The beginning of the week saw the first batch of soup being made in the kitchen. With December comes hibernation mode and this requires bowls full of warm, tasty goodness to fill the belly with. With this in mind, my plans for comfort food were stepped up a notch. Leek and potato soup is one of my all time favs! It is so smooth and creamy and homely..all the right characteristics to make you want to go back for more. And unbelievably simple to make. Another important thing whilst in my lazy winter mode.
Leek and potato soup is loved by everyone, I have yet to come across someone who doesn’t love it so it’s the perfect choice if you are entertaining. I always end up making huge batches of everything so I get leftovers the next day, and leftovers of leftovers the day after and this recipe is no different. It’s nice to always have something ready in the fridge for when that ‘I really don’t want to cook’ feeling hits when you get home from work, which happens to me at least once a week, when I just want to put my feet up, cuddle up with the kitties and unwind at the end of a busy day. This recipe is the cure!
3 large leeks (sliced – not the green tips though)
350g potoes (cubed)
1 litre fresh chicken stock
Salt and pepper
To Make Stock:
To start off with, take the remains of your chicken from One Chicken, Three Meals – #1 A Simple Roast Chicken and remove all the remaining meat that you didn’t finish eating. Either stick this in the freezer if you don’t think you will be using it within the next day or two, or if you do plan on making a third meal for dinner tomorrow then reserve this in the fridge until needed. Whenever I have a roast chicken I make sure to stick the carcass in the freezer to make stock with. Waste not want not. Plus, I like to make sure to get the most out of the chicken.
Place your chicken carcass in a saucepan and pour in cold water until the chicken is completely submerged. Add a few springs of thyme, parsley, a bay leaf and a dozen whole peppercorns and slowly bring to the boil, making sure to skim the surface to remove all oil and impurities that might rise to the top. Don’t boil rapidly, simmer slowly for about an hour. Then drain and reserve your stock and throw the bones and herbs away.
To Make Soup:
Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the sliced leek. Allow to cook slowly over a medium low heat, stirring regularly until soft and starting to turn a light golden colour. Then add the potato and continue cooking for another 5 minutes or so, making sure to stir.
After 5 minutes, add the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Simmer on a medium heat for 35-40 minutes until everything is thoroughly cooked. Remove from the heat and liquidise. Taste and season to your liking. When ready to serve, stir 80 ml of double cream into the soup and serve immediately. Preferably with croutons…just because soup is so much better with bread! Mmmm.
So, so easy..so, so perfect.