By Elizabeth Edwards, BA English
Cooking in lockdown can either feel like a chore or a comfort. I can’t be the only one who has found my days revolving completely around the three meals a day that offer such respite and gratification, as well as the simple joy of cooking and eating with my flatmates. As the days get colder and shorter, I have found myself craving steaming hot soup for lunch, accompanied by thick chunks of bread and cheese. Making your own soup can feel like more effort than it’s worth, given that you can buy perfectly decent soups in almost any corner shop, but I find that once you dedicate yourself to the soothing and surprisingly simple process, the outcome is so incredibly satisfying that you’ll never go back. I now make batches of soup multiple times a week with random leftover vegetables and I promise it will make you feel productive, even if you’ve done barely anything else that day. This particular one, a deliciously creamy leek and potato soup, was a favourite of mine when I was younger, and so I have tried to recreate my mum’s recipe in order to share it with you.
Ingredients (serves 2):
2 leeks, chopped into half moons
4 potatoes, peeled and chopped
One large white onion, chopped
Thyme, oregano, and rosemary, fresh or dried
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Whole milk (or non-dairy substitute)
850ml stock (whatever kind you like)
1. Put your chopped onions, garlic, thyme, sliced leeks, and mustard seeds in a large pot with some oil or butter (whatever you have) and cook for about 5-10 minutes without letting them burn.
2. Add your potatoes and stock and simmer until the potatoes are tender and beginning to crumble. This will probably take at least 25 minutes, but feel free to cook for longer.
3. Season with salt, pepper, and chives and add a few glugs of milk.
4. Let cool until you are comfortable handling the contents of the pot.
5. To blend the soup, you can use either a blender or a handheld blender. Whichever you choose, blend the soup until smooth and creamy. Add more milk or stock if you find it too thick.
6. Garnish your soup with lots and lots of chopped chives and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Photo Caption: Leek and potato soup is a winter time classic (Credit: lovingitvegan.com).