Sunday, 4 March 2012

The Potato, Bacon and Leek Soup experiment

I get a box of fresh fruit and vegetables delivered every week, it saves me time and opening the box every Friday is like a little bit of Christmas.

Anyhoo, the last few weeks I have been receiving leeks.  I usually use leeks in place of onions because the WG doesn't like strong onion flavors and I found years ago if I substituted leeks in various things like stir fry, she'd happily eat it.  So I have 3 leeks currently and there are only so many times you can make a stir fry before the family starts demanding something different.  What to do?

Why Potato, Bacon and Leek soup of course!

Many years ago in the 1980's even, when cooking at school for girls was not just expected but compulsory (boys did metalwork and woodwork, girls did sewing and cooking) amongst the pinwheel scones, fudge and quiches, I made cream of leek soup and I recall it was ridiculously easy and rather tasty!

Now you might wonder why on a beautiful, hot autumn day,  I am making soup?  It's for school lunches.  The WG has a thermos and loves nothing better than taking my home made soups to school.  I usually make a huge pot and freeze it in portions in ziplock bags, she throws it in a pot, heats it up, pops it in her thermos and she has a hot nourishing lunch on a cold winters day.  She loves vegetable, mushroom, pumpkin and tomato.  If we run out I usually have some cuppa soup sachets on hand to tide her over.

A little googling found me this recipe for leek and potato soup and I decided to add some left over bacon, you know, because I just HAVE to be different!

So I cubed up my bacon and fried it a little in my two litre pot, then drained it on a paper towel.

I chopped up my leek the recipe calls for two leeks but this leek was going for some sort of giant leek medal, it was HUGE.  I halved it lengthways, then halved the halfs to make it smaller.  Then cut it up into small slices.

I threw the butter and leeks back into my two litre pot and heated it slowly to soften the leeks.

While that was going on I chopped up my potatoes into small cubes.

Once the leeks were softened, I put a couple of stock cubes in, a litre of water, the potatoes and the bacon, gave it a stir and brought it to the boil.

The butter was sitting on the top at that point so it's not the most attractive picture.  Once it boiled I turned down the heat, by moving it to a smaller element, I have gas and the front element is the largest so a back ring with a smaller burner simmers a large pot nicely.

My house smelt wonderful!

Twenty minutes later I turned off the heat, I mashed the soup because I wanted a thicker soup.  I think I may have gone a little overboard on the butter hmmm, I'm intending to freeze it so I'll be able to removed that as it solidifies.  Which will give me a clearer soup which can be heated in the microwave and have milk or cream added.

I made up a bowl for the WG as she'll be arriving home soon from school, I stirred some cream through it and had a taste.  Yum!

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