If you follow me on Twitter you’ll know that I’ve had flu all week. And yes I mean flu with fever and all the lovely side effects not just a heavy cold. I don’t know about you but when I have the flu, particularly in winter, I love soup. Homemade soup makes you feel warm and comforted and knowing what’s gone into it is just an added bonus. Last night I decided to use some of the contents of my Abel & Cole box (like a beauty box but with fresh, organic fruit and veg) and make a healthy leek and potato soup.
My mum taught me that leek and potato soup should have lashings of butter and cream to give it a nice, rich flavour. I have decided that my diet requires less of the fat and more of the vegetables so I came up with my own recipe.
2 rashers of bacon – I used streaky as that’s all my supermarket had but you can use any
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (mine was also from Abel & Cole)
3 medium leeks
3 medium potatoes
2 vegetable stock cubes – I used the Knorr stock pots
2 pints of boiling water
½ cup of semi skimmed milk
1 tablespoon low fat crème fraiche
Salt and pepper to taste.
- Prepare the leeks, potatoes and garlic. Take off the outer layer of the leeks, top and tail (I left a little of the dark green leaf but you can trim it all the way to the light green if you prefer) and slice from top to bottom. Wash thoroughly and slice into 1cm chunks. Peel the potatoes, wash and dice into 1cm cubes. Mince the garlic.
- Take a medium or large saucepan and heat the olive oil. While it’s heating, roughly chop the bacon into squares and add to the oil.
- Let the bacon cook off and start to brown before adding the garlic, leeks and potatoes. Stir frequently and let them sweat from about 4-5 minutes.
- Make your stock with the stock pots and the boiling water and add to the pan. Add salt and pepper and stir. Place a vented lid on top and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Stir every 5 minutes or so to make sure that it doesn’t catch the bottom.
- Once the vegetables are tender, add your milk and crème fraiche and stir thoroughly. Let the soup heat through again for a couple of minutes.
- Use either a hand blender or a food blender and blitz the soup and serve immediately.
I love this soup. It’s full of flavour, it’s thick, one bowl really fills you up and it’s easy. This recipe comfortably makes four servings and if you wanted to stretch it a bit further you could add another pint of stock and it wouldn’t really detract from the flavour. If you’re a vegetarian then it can easily do without the bacon but it did add a nice smokiness and made it that bit richer.
One bowl of this soup is approximately 265 calories and is full of potassium, vitamins and just a really lovely soup to have during these winter months. And it really feels like you’re cheating your diet when it’s still pretty low in fat (much lower than the old recipe I had) and low in calories.
If you’re not on a diet then substitute the crème fraiche and milk for cream. If you want a bit more bite, add an onion (I’m allergic so you will never see an onion in my recipes).
What’s your favourite winter soup?