Leek and potato soup

Leeks are very easy vegetables to grow and one of my favourite dishes is leek and potato soup. I watched Raymond Blanc making this on TV many years ago with fresh leeks from his kitchen garden.

Boil about 500gramms of good potatoes that cream well. I sometimes just use powdered potato which has been mixed well until smooth in boiling water or chicken stock. 

Wash and chop two small leeks and fry in butter with salt and freshly ground black pepper until they are golden to well browned at the edges. Go easy on the pepper as it only needs a hint. When the leeks are slightly browned and still only half cooked add some boiling water and simmer gently for a minute or two. Add the leeks to the creamed potatoes with enough chicken stock to make a slightly less than cream soup consistency. Season to taste and simmer on until the green of the leeks are just tender. Remove from the heat and stir in enough fresh cream to your own taste and consistency. About a table spoon of cream per person is about right, when reheating, do not re-boil the soup after the cream has been added or it will curdle and the end result is a disaster!!!!!!!!!!! If you are not serving the whole pot of soup then leave the adding of the cream until you are serving it. This soup will keep for a day or two but remember to only add the cream after the soup has been reheated. I sometimes freeze the soup in single portion microwave safe containers and add the cream after I have defrosted and reheated the soup. The consistency of the soup should never be too thick as it is too heavy to eat. When I buy a whole chicken I cut it into portions that are cooked separately in different dishes, I always boil the carcass in the pressure cooker at pressure for about 10 minutes with maybe a pint of water. The meat that is left on the carcass is carefully removed avoiding any small bone fragments and added to the soup along with the strained stock.

The flavours sought are that of young leeks just cooked and not boiled to death and good chicken stock with the real cream giving the rich velvety finish. The meat from the back of the chicken carcass goes particularly well with this dish. It is also good served with croutons or pieces of toast cut into soldiers.

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