Sometimes it’s only the old favourites that will do. Those wonderful, comforting dishes that nourish the body and make you feel happy. For me, leeks and potatoes are one of those glorious long standing marriages of pure comfort and deliciousness. Together in a simple soup they are real harmony. Recently, I’ve really been craving those nourishing foods so I’ve been enjoying lots of this lovely soup. I like to add other richly nutritious greens like watercress or spinach for an extra boost of goodness.
Do you remember last time I mentioned that my lovely husband has been doing a little more of the cooking lately? I’ve been been trying to teach him a bit as he goes along. Some people are not natural cooks are they? (It’s that good old diplomatic side of me speaking here!) I firmly believe that everyone can cook, it’s a matter of common sense and if nothing else you can always follow a decent recipe. But that real magic, that blend of art and chemistry that makes for the yummiest food, well it’s an instinctive thing isn’t it? I wouldn’t say that D is a natural cook. But given the chance – and he doesn’t get much chance with me in the way all the time – he does really well. In fact, he is now a master of this lovely soup. It’s actually even nicer because he’s made it for me, and that makes me feel very happy.
It has been a proper old winter, this one. Bitterly cold on many days, dull and gloomy at times too. It’s got a quiet beauty about it though, doesn’t it? I still love to go out walking even though I don’t really like being cold. There is always something interesting to see in the stark winter landscape and I love to see the horses, cows and piggies in the fields around our village. And then come home to a big warm bowl of nourishing, homemade soup.
If you feel like sharing any thoughts or ideas or sending me a link to your website/blog, please do leave a comment. It’s always wonderful to hear your thoughts.
Otherwise, until next time. With some more vibrant colours I think. P.
I have lived most of my life in warm countries, and many places with barely perceptable changes of season. That has all changed. Living in the English countryside, the nuances of seasonal change are evident – and dramatic shifts too. Since we moved to England, the past couple of winters have been grey and drizzly but not especially cold. This winter is a proper one – frosty, icy, and today great billowing falls of snow all around. It is lovely to see the landscape draped in such a beautiful cloak of glittering white. Before the big snowfalls last night, we have had some amazingly lovely days, pale blue skies with an icing of frost. It makes up a bit for leaving the beautiful colours of the Caribbean.
After a bracing walk in the chilly countyside, a warming soup of celeriac and potatoes is just the thing.
Celeriac is a misunderstood and often maligned vegetable. We get organic veggie bags through our little boy’s school, and I frequently hear other parents complain about how often we get the celeriac and that they don’t know what to do with them. Well I love it. It has such a sweet creamy and nutty flavour and makes the most yummy gratins and soups. Here is a recipe for a simple and nourishing soup, garnished with a little crispy pancetta or bacon and some fresh herbs from the windowsill.
Celeriac, potato and onion soup
2 medium onions
1 clove garlic
knob of butter
1 large potato, peeled and roughly diced
1 medium celeriac, peeled and roughly diced
6-8 cups of chicken or veggie stock (can use a good quality cube)
dash of cream (optional)
crisply fried pancetta or bacon and some fresh herbs to enliven the presentation and tastebuds!
Gently sautee the onions and garlic in the butter in a medium pot. When they are soft and very slightly golden, add the potato, celeriac and stock. Simmer for about half and hour until all the vegies are tender.
Whiz up with a blender (if it is too thick add a little more water or stock) and add a dash of cream and a grind of black pepper if you like. Sprinkle over some crispy bacon and fresh herbs and serve with a good crusty bread.