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Traditional British Recipes

Leek and potato soup with toasted bread

Leek and Potato Soup

Leeks have been a national symbol of Wales for centuries. The high rainfall and deep rich soils in Wales make it an ideal vegetable to grow there. The leek emblem is often proudly worn in Wales on St. David's Day, along with the daffodil (or Peter's Leek - Cenhinen Bedr). According to legend, King Cadwaladr of Gwynedd insisted his forces identify themselves by wearing a Leek symbol on their helmets during a decisive battle against the invading Saxons.

Leek and potato soup is a very simple and easy recipe to cook as there are few ingredients and there is no need for sieving or blending of the ingredients as with other soups. The soup also freezes very well and will keep for several months in the freezer.

Ingredients for Leek and Potato Soup

  • 30 grams (1 oz) butter
  • 2 large leeks
  • 450 grams (1 lb) potatoes
  • 570 ml (1 pint) vegetable (or chicken) stock (Note: add double the stock if you want a thinner soup)
  • 280 ml (1/2 pint) milk or cream
  • 1 rasher (strip) of bacon
  • salt and pepper
  • some sprigs of parsley

How to Make Leek and Potato Soup

  1. Cut bacon finely and fry in the butter in a deep skillet or saucepan.
  2. Wash and cut the leeks into thin pieces - this is best done by first cutting the leeks lengthwise a couple of times, then slicing across thinly.
  3. Add the chopped leeks to the pan and simmer on a low heat.
  4. Wash a peel the potatoes and dice them as small as possible and add to the pan.
  5. Stir in the stock and add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Cover pan and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  7. Use a masher to break down the potatoes in the pan and stir well.
  8. Just before serving, stir in the milk or cream and place a sprig of parsley on top.
Serving Suggestions

Serve warm with bread and butter (toasted bread is best).

Recipe by Lily

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