I’ve made this leek & potato soup so many times this winter and the whole family always loves it, but I didn’t think it was ‘special’ enough for a blog post, after all there are hundreds of recipes out there already. Why did I go for it anyway? With the cost-of-living crisis that we’re currently experiencing here in the UK and in many other parts of the world a lot of people are simply trying to feed their families as best as they can. Unfortunately this means that a heavily processed ready meal may seem like you get more for your money than if you buy a bunch of fresh ingredients, which are likely more expensive. Feeding yourself and your kids a healthy diet when on a budget isn’t an easy task, but I believe it is doable. Potatoes and other root vegetables, leeks and brassicas ( cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, turnips etc.) grown in abundance here in the UK and are in season throughout the winter. They are very affordable and extremely nutritious, but – apart from the potato – not always immediately popular with the little ones. Neither of my boys particularly like leeks, but as part of this soup they’ll happily eat them. While I normally add a pinch of nutmeg I felt that with spring approaching a slightly zesty version was more appropriate, so it’s lemon juice instead (and it really works a treat!). Serve with croutons to turn it into a ‘posh soup’ as my kids like to say or simply go with a nice, thick slice of toasted brown bread on the side.
What you need:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion – chopped
3 garlic cloves – chopped
2 medium leeks – washed and sliced
1kg potatoes – peeled and cut into chunks
1.3L vegetable stock – I used 2.5 KALLO organic vegetable stock cubes
2dl unsweetened soya milk or soya cream
1 unwaxed lemon – juice only
Croutons (optional) – store bought or homemade* using old bread
How you do it:
Start by chopping all your veg.
In a large pan heat up the olive oil, then add onion and leeks and fry for about 5mins (make sure to stir regularly if you’re using a normal pan rather than a non-stick one).
Add potatoes and garlic and stir for another 5 minutes.
Slowly pour in your vegetable stock, bring everything to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for approx. 20mins.
Once the potatoes are very soft add the soya milk/ cream (depending on how creamy you want your soup to be you can also do 50/50) and the lemon juice and simmer for a few more minutes.
Turn off the hob and blend your soup with a handheld blender.
Taste and add a little more salt or stock cube if necessary.
Serve adding the croutons last minute (they act like sponges and absorb the liquid quickly).
*To make your own croutons simply cut some bread into small cubes (I like to toast it first to get a bit of crunch in there already), then fry on low-medium heat in a little oil - I use olive oil, but sunflower or rapeseed oil work just as well - until evenly browned and crunchy. Season with a sprinkle of salt and your favourite herbs and/or add some pressed garlic for the last minute or two.