Friday, 9 December 2011

Leek, potato & lavender soup

4 purple potatoes, 1 medium leek, 1/4 cup lavender, 1 pint vegetable stock, butter, rosemary.
Serves: 4 Preparation: 45 minutes

I love soup. I find all the chopping, stirring and pureeing very soothing, the warm smells that fill the house comforting, and I love ladling out steamy bowls of soup for people to dunk hot crispy bread into, dressing it with ever more creative croutons or swirls of cream and yoghurt. This winter I have created 10 new soups to warm you through on a cold day. This soup is velvety smooth with the most incredible flavour. Purple potatoes give this a spectacular colour (the picture does not do the bright violet hue any justice!) and the hint of lavender in the stock really brings out the sweet flavour of the leek.
1) Slice and dice the leek and add to a pan with a generous knob of butter and about a teaspoon of finely chopped rosemary. Allow to soften and then set aside.

2) In a seperate pan, bring the vegetable stock and lavender to the boil, and then strain into the leeks, discarding the lavender flowers.

3) Peel and chop the potatoes and add to the stock, allowing to simmer for 20 minutes until the potatoes have softened. Strain the leeks and potatoes from the stock and puree in the blender until completely smooth.

4) Add the pureed potatoes and leeks back into the stock and stir until it has been completely incorporated. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and then serve.

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