Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Leek & Potato Soup

Bundled up in layers of jackets and cardigans, I’m writing this post on a particularly grey evening in Delhi. Yes, it finally happened, I packed my cake pans and oven mitts and decided it’s finally time for me to get in on some winter action. Much to the amusement of everyone around me, I reminisce about sunny, 30-degree- (Celsius) Mumbai while heartily tucking into all that Delhi has to offer. Oh my, Delhi peeps really know their food! I had my first taste of quail last night and wanted to linger with the delicately cooked meal for as long as people could tolerate me! I’ve also become a bit of a ‘recipe bard’, rattling off ingredients and exchanging notes with home chefs and connoisseurs over cups of steaming ‘kahwa’ tea. Chief amongst them has been the recipe for this Leek and Potato Soup that I’ve made several times this winter and try to keep stashed on standby in the refrigerator.

Leek and Potato Soup is a winter classic and can be quite filling on its own. I’ve served it both ways- chunky and smooth, and find that it ranks top notch in flavours either way. Celery, carrot, onions and garlic add a punch of flavours to equal proportions of leeks and potatoes. I’ve found leeks in abundance with most vegetable vendors in Mumbai and have spotted it in Delhi too. The biting cold of January might be behind us, but this soup still makes for comforting supper as we ‘March-on’ towards Spring!
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil                                                     
1 carrot, peeled and roughly sliced
2 sticks celery, sliced
2 medium or 1 large onion, finely chopped
400 grams leeks
2 cloves garlic, chopped
400 grams potatoes
1.8 litres of chicken / vegetable stock
Freshly ground black pepper
1.        Cut-off the dark green ends of the leeks; quarter them lengthways and wash under cold, running water and then cut them into 1 cm slices.
2.       Place a large pan on high heat and add the olive oil. Add the leeks, onion, garlic, carrot and celery and mix together with a wooden spoon. Cook for 10 minutes with the lid askew, until the carrots have softened slightly and the onions and leeks turn slightly golden in colour. In the meantime, peel the potatoes & cut them into 1 cm dice.
3.       Add the stock to the vegetables in the pan and stir to combine. Now add the potatoes. Stir to combine and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and add salt and pepper to taste. You could serve it as is or wait for it to cool, then blend it with an immersion blender and serve hot. 

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