Annie Bell is a food writer and cookbook author, know for her Gorgeous Series (Suppers, Cakes, Desserts, Christmas and Greens) and she recently published 'The Camping Cookbook' and Soup Glorious Soup. She says she’s always working toward paring down the both the number of ingredients and the steps involved in a recipe. Annie says this isn’t out of laziness, but because it makes the food itself that much more alluring.
I just loved speaking with Annie - and I encourage you to listen to the interview for lots of great tips and technique for soup. She shared this recipe for Leek and Potato Soup.
Annie says "This is a country cousin of vichyssoise, but without the cream you can settle down to a serious bowlful followed by another. I crave this soup whenever I am feeling below par, and am happy to live off it for many days at a time. There is something about the sweetness of the leeks with the comforting nibs of potatoes. The bacon is a frill, and for the most part I am happy to pass on this bit, but it’s good to know how to adorn your bowl of soup should you wish."
50g unsalted butter
700g leeks (trimmed weight), sliced
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
200ml white wine
1.3 litres fresh chicken or vegetable stock1
70g maincrop potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
sea salt, black pepper
To serve:200g rindless unsmoked streaky bacon, diced snipped chives
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat and fry the leeks and onion for 8–10 minutes until silky and soft, without colouring, stirring occasionally. Add the wine and reduce until syrupy.
Meanwhile, bring the stock to the boil in a separate pan. Add the sliced potatoes to the leeks and stir them around for a minute, then pour the boiling stock over. Season and simmer for 8 minutes. At the same time, heat a dry frying pan over a medium-low heat, add the bacon and fry for 7–8 minutes until dark and crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl and set aside.
Blitz the soup in batches in a food processor to a textured slurry. Return to a clean saucepan, taste to check the seasoning and reheat gently. Ladle the soup into warm bowls, scatter over some bacon and chives and serve.