Quite frequently i discover that i have a fridge full of vegetables that are almost past their best. This stems from over-zealous shopping trips to the supermarket when i want to be healthy and stock up on seasonal fruit and veg. I then find that life takes over and i'm not at home long enough to use it all up. Combined with an organic fruit and veg box delivery, i discovered that i had leek, potatoes, aubergine, sweet potato, celeriac, peppers, celery... oops. Poor neglected vegetables.
Anyway, back to those in a bit. An indulgent weekend started off with a chinese takeaway on friday with old school friends - a fab night as always.
On saturday, i had a great pub lunch here with old college friends and house-mates, Suze, Fi and Marianna. It's been 19 years since we were all together and this meet-up was long overdue. Great food accompanied a really good catch up on each others lives and we promised not to leave it so long until next time (which would take us to an age i don't even want to think about for a long while yet).
The girly chat continued into saturday evening and then the early hours of sunday morning, aided by champagne, wine and Suze's homemade sloe gin.
Needless to say by sunday, it was time to make amends with my liver and i made a vat-full of this delicious creamy soup from Tessa Kiros' Apples for Jam.
This book has been on my wishlist for quite some time but as i have a self-imposed ban on buying any new cookery books this month, i decided to order it from my local library instead. The theory here is that if i really love it (and i already do), i can reward myself after payday.
This is the first recipe i have tried from the book and it produced the most velvety smooth soup i have ever tasted, let alone made for myself.
leek & potato soup - serves 6
2 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
2 tsp brandy
600g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
freshly grated nutmeg
100ml single cream
grated parmesan, to serve
Trim and thoroughly clean the leeks - you'll need about 400g of trimmed leek. Slice the leeks quite finely and put them in a sink with cold water, then drain and wash them again if they are still sandy.
Melt the butter in a large pan. Add the leeks and garlic and saute over medium-low heat until all the water has evaporated and the leeks are soft and faintly golden. Add the brandyand carry on cooking until it has evaporated. Add the potatoes and season well with salt. Add 1.5 litres of hot water and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down slightly, cover with a lid and simmer for abour 45 minutes, or until the leeks and potatoes are very soft. Grate in a little nutmeg.
Puree the soup until it is totally smooth. If it is too thick, add a little hot. If it is too thin, return it to the pan and cook uncovered until it is has thickened a bit. Taste for seasoning and add salt if necessary. Add the cream, heat through and serve immediately, with a good tablespoon of parmesan sprinkled over each serving. Top with freshly ground black pepper, and ideally, some very fine slices of truffle. I made do with a few drops of white truffle oil - heavenly!