When I was 7 I spent 6 weeks in California. I actually celebrated my 8th birthday over there with my American cousins. I think Australian and American culture has blended over time, but in 1987 it really did seem like a ‘foreign country’.
I remember going to a restaurant soon after we arrived and the waitress asking if I wanted a ‘super salad’. I said yes.
But she was actually asking if I wanted soup or salad with my meal. That was tricky – couldn’t I have both? I have always really loved soup so I find it difficult to refuse, but it was the middle of a Californian summer so salad made a bit more sense.
Since that time I’ve enjoyed constructing meals of both soup and salad in my not-really-very-rebellious spirit. I like to call it a ‘Souper Salad’ meal. Tonight was one of them.
My neighbour gave me some leeks and limes yesterday from his garden. I used the limes earlier today (I’ll give details tomorrow), but the leeks went to dinner tonight. I needed something fairly bland because P and J have a tummy bug. Joy.
Leek and Potato Soup
3 leeks, thinly sliced, green tops discarded.
2 potatoes, diced in 1.5cm cubes
3 tablespoons butter (or dairy-free spread, like I have to use)
1.5 litres stock (vegetable or chicken)
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter over medium-high heat and saute the leeks until they are wilted but not browned. If you have the time, you can reduce the heat and let the leeks caramelise slightly for better flavour, but I was in a rush tonight.
Add stock and potatoes, bring to the boil then simmer until potatoes are tender and the flavour of the soup is developed.
Season with salt and pepper. Puree if desired, but I’ve always made this soup chunky because my brother requested it that way the very first time I made it. Tonight I actually pureed after I added the stock and before I added the potatoes, because my 4 year old is convinced she hates onions. It didn’t seem to affect the flavour.
Sounds really simple (and bland), but leeks have an amazing flavour – you can’t go wrong. Once I convinced the 2 year old to try the first spoonful tonight he ate almost 3 bowls.
I served this with a simple garden salad of wild rocket, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber.
For some really inspiring vegetarian meal options, visit Linda’s blog to see what other people are serving tonight. Probably all more inspiring than my simple soup 🙂
Wish me luck tonight – I really don’t want to be cleaning any more puke off carpet, particularly as we are supposed to be going away for Easter.