07 June, 2011


It always comes as a complete surprise when the maple tree goes to sleep russet red and wakes up naked!

Vegetable Garden

The vegetable garden is looking a bit lean but I still have plenty of vegetables to keep me going. 
I have plenty of leeks, spinach, rocket, cauliflower, beetroot, cavalo nero, rainbow chard and carrots and so on! 
Plenty to share with my family and friends.

Fresh from the garden
The last of the tomatoes have been picked to make a green tomato chutney, but for now a soup recipe.

Leek and Potato Soup

3 potatoes peeled and chopped
1 sweet potato
1 large or 4 pencil leeks sliced 
3 cloves of garlic 
a few sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock
maldon salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Use a large pot to boil the potatoes in salted water,simmer until cooked.
  2. Meanwhile saute the leeks, a sprig of thyme and the bay leaf gently over very low heat in pan with a knob of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil until they are soft and golden. I'm using the small pencil leeks from my garden, they are so much sweeter  but you don't have to waste the green part of the large leeks they  add flavour to your stock.
  3. Drop the cloves of garlic into the pot of boiling potatoes for 4 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and add to the leeks.
  4. Strain the cooked potatoes and save the water to add to stock if needed, place potatoes back in  pot.
  5. Pour 1/4 of the stock over the leeks to get all the flavour from the saute pan and then pour over the potatoes and bring to a boil turn off the heat and using a stick blender, pulse blend to a nearly smooth soup. 
  6. Add the rest of the stock and leaves from remaining sprigs of thyme, season and simmer for 20 minutes with lid on. 
  7. Pour soup into warm bowls and serve topped with croutons, my crouton recipe follows.

In a large bowl add 1/4 cup of good olive oil, 1 diced clove of garlic, leaves from 3 sprigs of thyme, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Thickly slice sour dough bread that is at least 4 days old, allowing 2 slices per person. Chop  bread into cubes, place in the bowl and toss to really coat the croutons  with the oil.
Heat a thick bottomed fry or saute pan and add the croutons,cook until golden brown, turn off the heat, shave parmesan cheese over the top and serve with the soup.

Bon Appetit


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