I love a good bowl of soup. I don’t make it often enough and I should do. It’s cheap to make, filling and keeps you warm on a cold day.
One of my favourite soups is Leek and Potato and thankfully it’s one that the rest of my family will eat, too. Though in the past I didn’t tell my son it had leeks in it, I just used to say it was vegetable soup to him in case he turned his nose up at it.
About three weeks back I made this delicious, comforting soup. (see, I’m really behind with the blogging at the moment). Anyone fancy buying me a new laptop? No, I thought not. My laptop is slow and keeps disconnecting from the Internet. Not a serious problem in the scheme of things but it does slow work down somewhat.
I adapted the recipe from Mary Berry’s Cookery Course, which is a well used book on my shelf. First the leeks and onions were chopped up and fried gently in butter. After that, in went some thinly sliced potatoes. To this I then added some hot chicken stock. Unfortunately it wasn’t home made, sorry Mary! The soup was then seasoned and left to simmer. Mary Berry’s recipe also suggests a few gratings of nutmeg. I didn’t have any nutmeg but I sprinkled on some parsley instead.
After about 20-30 minutes simmering I took the pan off the heat and allowed the soup to cool down for a couple of minutes. Out came the stick blender to puree up the soup. Finally. I added in a swirl of half fat creme fraiche. Mary’s recipe uses single cream but I didn’t have any so, creme fraiche had to do.
A perfect lunchtime bowl of soup for myself and Mr SmartCookieSam with a chunk of crusty bread. There was enough left for me to have for lunch on two days during the week either at home or at work.
At the time of writing it is nearly the end of February and I’m still trying to bake something from each chapter of How To Be A Domestic Goddess as part of my monthly Cooking The Books challenge. Last Saturday I had to try and bake something from the Pastry chapter. Pastry is something I either get right or wrong depending on time, mood, the weather, well you name it. I wanted to bake something savoury for a change and it had to be something my family would eat, yet be quick to bake and not too fiddly.
So, for Saturday lunch I chose to bake the Cheese, Onion and Potato Pies, which Nigella says is “the picnic food of fondness imagination, although we eat them for ordinary tea in the kitchen fairly often,” I agree they would make great picnic food but in the middle of the cold, wet and rainy February we’re having at the moment I think I’ll stay inside and eat them in the warm, thank you! My husband and daughter were out, so it was just me, the dog and the cat for company.
Here’s how they were made:
The pastry came together fine for me, usually I get my food processor out but I couldn’t be bothered to get it out of the cupboard. I hoped it wouldn’t be too difficult to work with as my hands get quite warm when working in the kitchen.
It was here where I realised the pastry was a bit thick in places and I should have rolled it even thinner. No wonder I struggled to get 16 circles out of it. I also noticed there was loads of filling left over, in fact half of it! Did I make too much or wasn’t I putting enough inside the pies? I struggled to seal the pies properly as well.
Nigella suggests using Cheddar, Red Leicester and Parmesan cheese in the filling but I only had cheddar and some grated Mozzarella. I put the same quantity of cheese in the mixture and the flavours seemed to work.
We had the pies with a large salad for our Saturday lunch. One was enough for me and still warm from the oven it tasted absolutely fantastic. Well worth the effort and I will definitely make them again, they’re a lovely treat on a weekend lunchtime if you have the time to make them. I was expecting to have some leftover to eat the day afterwards but my hubby ended up eating three!