Cooking Becomes so Easy

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Serves: 4-6
50g / 2 oz unsalted butter
450g / 1 lb leeks, white parts only, thinly sliced
3 large shallots, sliced
250g / 9 oz floury potatoes (such as King Edward or Maris Piper),peeled and cut into chunks
1 litre / 1 3/4 pints light chicken stock or water
300ml / 1/2 pint double (heavy) cream
iced water (optional)
little lemon juice (optional)
salt and ground black pepper
chopped fresh chives, to garnish

Melt the butter in a heavy-based pan and cook the leeks and shallots gently, covered, for 15-20 minutes, until soft but not browned.

Add the potatoes and cook, uncovered, for a few minutes. Stir in the stock or water, 5ml/l tsp salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and partly cover the pan. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.

Cool, then process the soup until smooth in a blender or food processor. Strain the soup into a bowl and stir in the cream. Taste and adjust the seasoning and add a little iced water if the consistency of the soup seems too thick.

Chill the soup for at least 4 hours or until very cold. Taste the chilled soup for seasoning and add a squeeze of lemon juice, if required. Pour the soup into bowls and sprinkle with chopped chives. Serve immediately.

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