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A French chilled leek and potato soup. Until recently, leeks were hard to find in Britain during the summer months, as they were only grown as a winter vegetable.
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For 6 people:
1kg/2lb 4oz Leeks, the very dark sections discarded, the remainder split and carefully washed
500g/1lb 2oz Potatoes, peeled, and cut into small pieces
2 litres/3½ pints Chicken or Vegetable Stock
fresh sprigs of fresh Marjoram, Parsley and Thyme - tied togetherwith string
a 284ml carton of Single Cream
Salt and freshly-ground Pepper
a few snipped Chives, to decorate
Equipment:A food processor or a mouli légume
1. Slice the white and pale green section of the leeks.
2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, with a lid.
3. Add the chopped leeks and sweat over a low heat for 5 minutes, covered.
4. Add the chopped potatoes and mix in, then add the stock and the bunch of herbs.
5. Bring to the boil, and simmer for 40 minutes.
6. Discard the bunch of herbs.
7. Drain the leeks in a colander, set over a bowl big enough to hold the liquid.
8. Measure out 600ml of the cooking liquid, and set aside. The rest can be thrown away.
9. Purée the vegetables in a food processor or through a mouli légume, the return them to the pan with the reserved stock and the cream.
10. Bring to the boil, stirring and add salt an pepper to taste.
11. Allow to cool naturally, stirring occasionally, to stop a skin forming. Then chill.
12. Check the seasoning again, as cold food needs more seasoning than hot.
Serve sprinkled with chopped chives.