The simple and delicious combination of leek and potato make a wonderfully classic soup. The flavours work so well together there is very little need for added ingredients.
Insure you use a good quality vegetable stock to get the best flavour. Although I have not done so here, the cooked potato and leek can be blended in a kitchen wizz before adding the milk to give the soup a nice smooth texture.
For a vegan version omit the crostini or use a vegan cheese and simply use olive oil instead of butter and I have often made it very successfully with soymilk.
Preparation time: 35mins
- 1 tbs butter or olive oil
- 1 tsp diced bottled or fresh red chilli
- 8 small/medium sized desiree, pink eye or Pontiac potatoes, scrubbed well and diced
- 2 large leeks, diced
- 6 cups of vegetable stock
- 375ml (13 fl oz) of low fat evaporated milk or non-dairy milk
- 1-2 tbs chopped fresh parsley
- lemon juice
- salt and pepper
for the Parmesan Crostini
- ½ cup grated fresh vegetarian parmesan cheese
- ½ French bread stick, cut diagonally into 1cm rounds
Melt the butter in a large pot; add the chilli and leeks, cook for 1 minutes without browning.
Add the potatoes and toss through leeks; place a lid on the pot and turn heat down to low. ‘Sweat’ the potatoes for around 3-4 minutes; tossing frequently to avoid sticking.
Add the stock and increase heat to bring to the boil.
Simmer the potatoes for around 10-15 minutes until soft. With a potato masher; mash the mixture until the potatoes are broken down and the soup takes on a good texture (alternatively you can blend the potatoes in a kitchen wizz until smooth).
Turn down the heat and slowly add the milk; continue to simmer over a low heat and stir constantly until the soup has reduced a little around 3-5 minutes.
Add the parsley and lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer and stir for another few minutes and check seasoning.
Prepare the crostini by topping the sliced bread with parmesan cheese and grill under a high grill for a few minutes until toasty brown, keep warm and set aside.
Ladle the soup into large warm bowls; top with extra parsley & pepper and serve with crostini.
Great as a starter to a dinner party or as a simple meal at home.
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