Monday, 18 January 2016

Leek and potato soup with flaked almonds

Souping is one of the foodie trends for 2016. Apparently souping is the new juicing, being made trendy by super healthy Gwyneth Paltrow and clean eating blogellas. Actually the word souping makes me shudder.
And what's so new about it? It's one of the oldest ways of cooking, known for thousands of years. The history of soup is as old as the history of cooking.
The Chinese workers who were excavating the base for a new airport, have dug out a bronze cooking pot which was sealed so tightly that the soup inside it was still liquid. The archeologists confirmed that the pot and its contents were at least 2400 years old. It still contained bones and turned green due to the bronze oxidation. Eat your heart out, Gwynnie.

Soup has never been out of fashion, has it?! Growing up in Russia, soup was served on a daily basis. Nurseries, schools, factory canteens, hospitals etc - soup was considered to be part of a healthy diet. And believe me, the Russians know their soups.
And what about the UK? There are so many British soups to choose from.
So I'm sorry, souping might be a new word (and silly at that too), but the actual soup has never left our tables.

Last week's Superb Souping Box from Abel and Cole had ingredients enough for three different soups.
One them of them was a twist on a classic leek and potato soup. This is one of our favourites which I cook quite often in winter, it's always easy to make and so tasty.

Leek and potato soup with flaked almonds
3 leeks
1 celery stick
2tbsp sunflower oil
2 big potatoes
1 clove of garlic
1 bay leaf (optional)
1 vegetable stock cube
100ml coconut milk (standard milk would be absolutely fine as well)
flaked almonds

Slice the leeks finely, making sure that you get rid of all the grit in the green part when washing them. Trim the celery and chop it as well. Place the leeks and celery in a deep frying pan with the sunflower (or olive) oil, don't season yet, as you might find the stock cube salty enough. On low fry for about 10 minutes, stirring infrequently. Chop the garlic and add to the leeks, cook for another couple of minutes.
Place the fried vegetables in a medium sized pan, add the peeled and chopped potatoes.
Make the stock with 1 vegetable stock cube and hot water, about 600ml. Pour over the leeks and potatoes, add a bay leaf or any other dried herbs you like, cook simmering for about 25 minutes. In the last 5 minutes add the coconut milk. This is entirely optional, I had a carton of coconut milk so used that, but usually I add just plain semi-skimmed milk.
In a dry frying pan toast a handful of flaked almonds for about 2-3 minutes, tossing them so that they don't get burnt.
Blitz the soup with the hand blender and serve hot with the flaked almonds scattered on top.
The almonds add an extra texture to an otherwise smooth and creamy soup. A nice touch (though I confess I prefer my usual spoonful of soured cream or thick Greek style yogurt for a hint of sourness).

And here it is, a simple yet delicious soup (and I don't even need to flog a fitness DVD or a cook book, lol).

What's your favourite winter soup? And what do you think of the word "souping" - yay, nay or meh?


  1. I got the email about "souping" too and rolled my eyes at the word ! You can't beat a bowl of soup for a healthy, quick and cheap meal and this one sounds lovely.

    1. Such an annoying word for cooking such a lovely meal. :) I am actually testing a couple of recipes for the lady who sent me that email. It's not her fault that this word is trendy.