Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Potato & Leek Soup

Brrrrrrrrrrrr its certainly Winter, although there is something quite beautiful about feeling warm from the inside out. Nostalgic pleasures. Today I could've really enjoyed some of my Mum's homemade broth with crusty buttered buns.  Great big tureen full of pearl barley, ham, split peas etc etc. Its smell of  'home'  filling my mind with its goodness & comfort. Remembering the snow, walking home & my fingertips like ice & teh wind biting against my cheeks. Wrapped up braving the elements then to reach home to feel warmth from the log fire, warmth from the soup & warmth just because there was someone home waiting to welcome me.
Today, I thought I'd make a soup for lunch. Half day for the 'student' to study and Hubby working close to pop home for lunch. I'd already made the brown bread early this morning, we have left over ham from a joint we had earlier in the week so I decided leeks, potatoes & ham compliment each other beautifully . Great choice, easy & quick with minimum ingredients but big on taste. A mixture between a ploughman's & Wintery Warmers.

4 Small Potatoes
1 Large Leeks
Ham Stock/Ham Stock Cube

Ham & Granary Sandwich & Ploughman's Nibbles.


  • Peel the potatoes, halve & quarter then cut into 1/8's. 
  • Add the potato portions to a saucepan of cold water. Usually I rinse the potatoes  in cold water, but for potato & leek soup I don't, allowing the excess starch to bring a thickness & creamy texture to the soup.

  • Bring to the boil & allow to cook on a high heat for around 10 mins. Then put the lid onto the soup,  continue to simmer for about an hour.

  • Top & tail the leek. score the middle length of the leek with a sharp knife. Open the layers up & wash thoroughly in cold water. Slice into thick chunks add the the potatoe soup. Add ham stock or a ham stock cube. Allow the leeks just to sit & cook without stirring. Put the lid back on & simmer for further 15 mins.
  • Whilst soup is finishing off make the sandwiches. Slice the brown loaf, add some mayo, tear the ham from the joint. On a side plate add a little slither of cheese, an apple, cherry plum tomatoes & pickled onions if the recipients aren't too shy to devour onions during the day :)

  • Add slice of brown bread next to soup bowl, to enjoy with the soup alone. Butter is optional.

  • Warm the soup bowl up & serve immediately. 

  • Quick, easy, tasty, nutritional & economical. 
  • Home made lunches are the best! All of the above can be flasked & packed up ready to be taken to enjoy at work or Uni.  One large saucepan of soup can last a good few days, the homemade bread & remaining meat from the ham joint will enable tasty sandwiches for the rest of week.  Even if you take the same meat, same soup you can add chutney to the sarni one day, tomatoes another day, cheese another . ..  its worth the effort & pleasure.
Our darling daughter never thinks to make a soup or prepare food in advance for the week ahead. I'm trying to share with her all of the thrifty resourcefulness my parents & grandparents needed to utilise when they were teens. Bless, they didn't even have much available to them, let alone be reliant  upon convenience fast food or shop bought sarni's.  Considering all thats available now for our daughter to purchase between here & her place of study - too many & too much junk!!  Thus its a challenge but one I will confront til I have no breath left !!!! :)
I'm thinking bigger picture here, what is her generation going to leave as their legacy . .  microwaved, processed, fast food??!!! Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo  ;)


  1. It's easy to fall into that trap of eating convenience food because it is so easy. I used to eat it even though I had some misgivings. It was when I became pregnant that I started to become concerned and then when my daughter was born we really started to pay attention to our food. She'll get there.

    That ham sandwich next to the soup looks absolutely divine, I love a warm bowl of soup and a sandwich on a blustery day.

  2. I agree it is, far too easy & worse with the little education to persuade otherwise it becomes a way of life for some. We're bombarded with media influences all of the time to eat here, there & everywhere .. except home :) Especially for the generations who only know the convenience of microwaved food, tinned vegetables & processed meals in one dish thus the adverts seem to seduce the feelings of well being. Once upon a time, it was far more economical to home bake & cook. .. it still is but we seem to be losing the value of nurturing, nature & gathering our food to share within the family.
    Interesting that you instinctively wanted to nourish & give your baby the best - somewhere from deep inside nature, the natural & instinct ignited your concerns.
    Our senses are so significant, our health so important & food can be so medicinal in its properties.
    Teee heeee maybe its all about balance :) a little naughty, a little nice & much natural goodness.