Getting back into the culinary saddle last weekend, I decided to make my first-ever soup – a leek and potato one, using leftover veggies.
Soups have always been a mystery to me. And stock cubes a puzzle wrapped in an enigma. People who makes soups and use stock are in a special members club, one that until last Saturday had never been open to the likes of me.
Like the once-cool Brummie super-club I used to try and fail to get into as a 17-year-old school girl, the souper club doors were just as unwelcoming.
But last week, I realised – just as I once hand when I eventually managed to wangle my way into the Brummie super-club, past the girls wearing angel wings, dancing to the Bucketheads – that this club really wasn’t such a big deal. I actually belonged here!
Turns out, in both cases, all I needed was the right thing in me handbag – a passport saying I was 18 for the super-club, an immersion blender for the souper club.
Any way, enough waffle. The soup was tastier and a lot more wholesome than a night as Ms Moneypenny’s ever was.
Here is the recipe (adapted from one concocted by sir Jamie Oliver).
2 carrots – farmer’s market ones if you can get ’em. Makes such a difference.
2 sticks of celery
2 yellow onions
3 big leeks (quarter lengthways and wash under tap before chopping)
2 cloves garlic
2 veg stock cubes
What to do
Top and tail your carrots, leeks, celery and onions and slice into slim (1cm-ish) discs/crescents/cubes.
Slice your garlic.
Over high heat, add 2tbsp of oil to a deep pan, throw in your carrots, leeks, onions and garlic and cook for 10 mins or so, with a lid – at a jaunty askew angle to let the steam out.
Once your 10 mins are up, do your stock (veggie or chicken). Find a big jug, drop your stock cubes in and pour over 1.5 l of boiling water then stir ’til all disolved. (I only had regular measuring jugs so had to do this in a couple of batches.)
Then add to the pan along with the cubed pots and bring to the boil.
Now, turn down to a simmer and pop lid back on at a jaunty angle – for another 10 mins or so. (Try a potato to decipher whether your soup has been cooking long enough).
When you’re happy with it, season your soup with S&P, take it off boil and get your immersion blender out and whizz it all up until you reach you arrive at your required soup consistency (I like mine, half-lumpy, half-smooth – anything else is baby food).
Serve with crusty bread.
Kitchen cock-ups: nothing too terrible went wrong. Woop.
Listened to: Little People’s We Are But Hunks of Wood (nice downtempo electronica which wouldn’t horrify my 18-year-old clubbing self too much).
Oh! I just thought of a cock-up: I LIED! This is actually the second soup I’ve ever made! Kind of. I made a pumpkin one before Christmas (with a lot of help from my kitchen assistant – no wonder I forgot).