To cut a long and possibly annoying succession of stupid anecdotes short; my weekend, this recipe and this post has been inspired by three things:
- An enforced philosophy of shopping at farmers’ markets far more frequently and making as much as I possibly can from scratch,
- Wanting to create my version of Campbell’s “Potato and Leek” soup in a can, my former comfort food as a broke student living out of home (eugh), and
- Discovering a life beyond LEEKSPIN.
Needless to say this weekend was rather wholesome (with the exception of my frolicking around humming the Leekspin tune); riding my bike around yearning for the organic and simply homemade. And yes, a year ago I would often pine for Campbell’s Leek and Potato soup from a can, undeterred its goopy nature retaining its cylindrical shape as I attempted it pour it from the can into my little pot. It was like something from a cartoon.
Now, if I do say so myself, this leek soup is spectacular; so fragrant and naturally creamy. The garlic is present and rounded but in no way pungent so don’t be afraid to rock two whole bulbs. It’s one of those dishes where the ingredients truly speak for themselves. Whole roasting garlic bulbs is an absolute joy, as is preparing an aromatic chicken stock from scratch. Please note the stock recipe below will make around twice as much as you actually need for this soup; this stuff is golden and whether you refrigerate it for a week or freeze it for months you will always, always find an opportunity to use it. But, as usual, I digress. This recipe, aside from the extra stock, will serve 4 people who aren’t afraid to get their garlic on.
Two Leek + Two Garlic Soup
2 whole garlic bulbs
1L chicken stock (instructions below)
650g potato (around 4 medium sized)
100ml cream, plus more to garnish
1 tbs butter
A few slices of prosciutto (optional)
Chicken stock (makes twice as much as you need, around 2L)
1kg chicken wings (around 10)
2½ L water
2 large onions
3 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tbs salt
For the stock (can be made a day ahead)
1. Cut onions in half leaving the skin on. Place all ingredients in a large pot and bring to the boil. For the next 15 minutes skim the scum that rises to the top with a ladle. Once it has cleared, turn down heat to a lower setting, pop on the lid and allow to simmer for 4 hours.
2. Strain chicken, onions and aromatics from the liquid. This stock can be kept in fridge or freezer until ready for use.
For the soup
1. Pre-heat oven to 200°C. Remove the ‘tops’ of the bulbs of garlic with a horizontal slice so that the cloves inside are exposed. Drizzle with olive oil, wrap in aluminium foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove, allow to cool and, with a firm hold of the base of the bulb, squeeze the soft, caramelised garlic into a small bowl. If you want to use prosciutto as a garnish, place the slices on a tray and bake for 10 minutes.
2. Remove the tops, or the darkest green leaves from the leeks. Slice the stalks in half and wash well (because leeks have many layers there may be plenty of dirt and soil in there). Finely chop into small pieces.
3. Peel potatoes and roughly chop into 2cm cubes.
4. Heat butter and a drizzle of olive oil in a large pot. Add chopped leeks and stir until softened, around 10 minutes. Add the litre of stock, the cubed potatoes, the soft garlic and a teaspoon of salt. Combine, bring to the boil then reduce heat to medium. Cover and allow to simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables have softened significantly.
5. (The burn mark on my hand says be wary of this step!) In batches, pour the soup into a blender and process until smooth. Alternatively use a stick blender straight in the pot. Return to the pot on low heat and add cream.
1. Spoon ladlefuls of soup into a bowl. Add a dollop of cream, a piece of prosciutto and garnish with cracked pepper.
Served with some homemade malt and wholemeal bread this meme-inspired soup is absolutely one of the nicest dishes I’ve recently made. Do try it! I’m so excited by this recipe I wish I could personally deliver a bowl to every single person I know.