Tuesday, 22 March 2011


 Leek and potato soup ... or just about to be!
Today was the Ladies lunch and I'd promised to bring the soup.  Normally I opt for a thick broth but, just for a change, the general consensus was that it would be good to try something different.  This one is easy, very easy!
Now, if you're looking for the recipe ... I made enough for about twenty people ... so adjust the quantities to suit your pot.  And the other thing is ... I don't really use a recipe ... it's all judged by look, taste, availability ...
The ingredients are simple: butter, onions, leeks, potatoes, stock and milk.  
Chop onions and leeks and sweat in the butter for ten or fifteen minutes until soft but not browned.  
How much butter?
I don't weigh it ... a good lump ... a handful ... a big thick slice .... 
For this pot I used two big onions and eight big leeks ... to make soup for a "normal family" I'd probably use one onion and two or three leeks.  It really doesn't matter too much about proportions!
Meanwhile peel and slice the potatoes.  My slices were three or four millimetres thick ... the thickness only affects the cooking time so that's not terribly important either!  I used the equivalent of two or three medium sized potatoes per person (if that's any help!).
Add the sliced potatoes to the softened onions and leeks and pour in the stock.  Stock can be vegetarian, or not, as you wish ... just watch that it doesn't have a flavour that overpowers the delicacy of the leek and potato.  
How much stock?  
For my big pot it was about four pints ... a good guess is just until it reaches the top of the potato and leek mix.  
Then simmer ... a good half hour .... until the potatoes are soft and crush easily with a wooden spoon or break up with a blender.  I use a blender to give a fairly smooth texture.
After that I add the milk ... in the big pot it was about a pint ... so I'd imagine that about one fifth of the liquid is milk ... or it could easily be a quarter or more.  Aim for a consistency that you like.  I tend to keep it fairly thick ... others might like it a bit more runny.
Now, taste it!  Add whatever seasoning you think it needs and taste it again!
Serve hot, but not boiling with cream or cheese or croutons or parsley or whatever!!
 It really is a meal in a bowl with all that potato and the leeks.  Just the right thing for a chilly winter's day.  Though today wasn't that chilly as we enjoyed the milder spring sunshine with temperatures up to fourteen degrees Celsius.  
 So that's the soup ... you can get proper recipes for it but experience shows that it tastes good whatever you do!
The ladies who gathered enjoyed lunch and the craic.  We just have bread and cheese with the soup and then wee buns with a cup of tea.  All very simple but good fun. 
 This group has had a separate existence for many years but numbers are now smaller and most belong to the Mothers' Union as well.  From September both groups will follow the same programme and operate under one name.  I hope that a history of the Ladies' Guild will be written so that the memories are not lost.  We'll publish that in the Parish Magazine when it is compiled. 
 Early in the morning I had a good walk with the dog and spotted this little clump of cherry blossom .. another of the signs of spring. 
 The berberis is also in flower ... though they're fairly "insignificant" blooms!  You don't mess with this bush - the thorny edges to the leaves would make for a very uncomfortable experience!
 It must be days since Eliot got his face on here ... so this shot of him running around this morning will attempt to redress that!

May none of God's wonderful works
keep silence, night or morning.
Bright stars, high mountains, the depths of the seas,
sources of rushing rivers:
may all these break into song as we sing
to Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
May all the angels in the heavens reply:
Amen!  Amen!  Amen!
Power, praise, honour, eternal glory
to God, the only giver of grace.
Amen!  Amen!  Amen!

3rd Century Egypt. 


ROBERTA said...

The soup looks "delish" and I've surely missed Eliot! He always reminds me of what is important in life:)

Kelly said...

Oh, the soup does look wonderful! I may save your recipe for our next St. David's Day Leek Soup "competition". Eliot looks in fine form - doesn't spring do wonders for us all?

Anonymous said...

another person to clever for their own good with their cooking skills!!! lol just visited another blogger who has been buzy making cheese. Soup looks delicious and hope your ladies enjoyed it. take care, Judyx

Anonymous said...

Hi Rev Liz, In one of your picture's there's a little wall hanging seen behind the ladies wot lunch. Could we have a bigger photo of it? Can't beat leak and potato. Lentil and smoky bacon's not bad though. MrsMcF

Rev Elizabeth said...

Hi MrsMcF ... will do!
Thank you all for your comments... the soup is good and worth making!
And Eliot is in great form ... more pictures of him today (Thursday)

A :-) said...

Thank you for that recipe!! I'm going to figure out how to do it on a much smaller scale :-)