There are lots of lovely things about January, honestly there are! Crisp dry days (in between the soggy, foggy damp ones) are great for long walks on the now quiet beaches. Then, what better to warm up afterwards than a flask of warm soup in the car.
So a couple of recipies this month that use one of our most versitile winter veg - leeks! Firstly a classic leek and potato soup. Comforting, creamy and great value. Next a veg packed colcannon which goes really well with our beef sausages, especially when served with sliced carrots and gravy.
Also in season this month:
Brussels sprouts, spring green cabbage, savoy cabbage. carrots, cauliflower, leeks and kale. We also have local potatoes, parnips and some seasonal squash.
Leek & Potato Soup
450g potatoes - cut into 1 cm chunks
1 small onion - cut the same size as the potatoes
450g leeks - finely sliced
1ltr chicken or vegetable stock
142ml carton whipping cream
125ml full-fat milk
Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan and then toss the potatos, leeks and onion in it until well covered.
Season, cover and cook very gently over a low heat for 10 mins or until soft.
Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for about 5 min until veg is just cooked.
Remove from heat and blend.
Add the milk and 3/4 of the cream. Reheat to a gentle simmer & serve immediately with the remaining cream served on top and chunks of crusty bread.
Colcannon with parsnips, leeks and kale
600g potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 large parsnip, peeled chopped into chunks
1 leek, finely chopped
120g kale, finely chopped
250ml whole milk
2 bay leaves
Salt & pepper to taste
Cook the potatoes and parsnips in boiling water with the bay leaves until soft.
While they are cooking saute the leeks in half of the butter until soft and then add the kale and cook until tender.
Drain the cooked potatoes & parsnips and discard the bay leaves. Mash with the milk and remaining butter.
Stir in the sauteed leeks and kale and season to taste (I like to add a dollop of horseradish when I am serving with beef).