Cream Of Leek Soup is exactly as described, creamy, with the subtle taste of onion. Leeks grow well in Wales, and are used in many culinary dishes within this region, it has also become one of the Welsh emblems. The leek emblem arises from an occasion when a troop of Welsh soldiers were able to distinguish each other from a troop of English enemy, dressed in similar fashion, by wearing leeks to identify themselves – it showed their allegiance to Henry Tudor, whose personal colours were green and white. The simplest dishes were sliced leek, simmered in a chicken stock, which was made for supper, and watered down to double the quantity when money was short, so that some would be left over for the next day’s breakfast. When times were better this rather more indulgent, creamy soup would be made and served with crispy bacon bits.
Cream Of Leek Soup Recipe
- 600g Leeks (washed, cleaned of grit and trimmed)
- 2 large onions (peeled and finely chopped)
- 3 sticks celery with leaves (washed and chopped)
- 2 large potatoes (peeled and diced small)
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1.2 litres chicken stock
- 50g butter
- pinch freshly ground sea-salt and black pepper
- 200ml double cream
to serve (optional)
- 5 rashers of streaky bacon (fried until crisp)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil to fry
Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Put aside one small leek (for a garnish) and after cleaning and trimming roughly chop the rest. Add to the pan with the chopped onion and celery and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes until soft and transparent.
Add the chopped potato and stir over a low heat until the butter has been absorbed by the potato. Add the chopped parsley and gradually stir in the chicken stock. Season with ground sea-salt and black pepper, and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
Use a hand blender (or a regular blender, and do it in batches if needed) and blend the soup to a smooth, silky liquid. Return the smooth soup to the saucepan (if removed). Add the cream and heat through.
Trim, remove the rind, and cut the streaky bacon up small. Then fry in a hot frying pan, with a tablespoon of vegetable oil, until very crisp. Remove to a plate with a piece of paper kitchen towel to drain off the fat.
Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if it needs it. Transfer the Creamy Leek Soup to a serving bowl and stir in the (very finely) sliced raw leek, and sprinkle over the top a few crispy bacon bits, just before serving.