One of the things I love most about Abel & Cole is the way their weekly selection of vegetables encourages me to be more creative with my cooking. One of my winter back-up recipes is potato and leek soup, because it is hearty, tasty and filling.
So, it was a cold, miserable sunday afternoon. Amongst my vegetable selection were some chunky leeks, but no potatoes. Plenty of parsnips though, so the idea for parsnip and leek soup was born.
Parsnips can be a little sweet, but the leeks and vegetable stock help to keep this at bay, and adding creme fraiche at the end smoothes it all over perfectly!
Recipe for Parsnip and leek soup
2 large leeks
Knob of butter
500ml vegetable stock
2 cloves of garlic
4 tbsps crème fraiche
Heat a dash of olive oil and the knob of butter in a large, lidded, heavy-bottomed pan. Wash the leeks and slice thinly then add to the pan when the fat starts to bubble. Stir thoroughly until the leeks are covered and then cook on a medium heat until the leeks are soft and translucent, then crush and add the garlic and cook for five more minutes.
Meanwhile, peel and slice the parsnips, then add to the leeks and garlic, stir to combine well, then cover and sweat for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pan.
After 10 minutes the parsnips should be soft. Turn the heat up a little and add the stock and bay leaf, plus salt and pepper, then cover and leave to simmer for 30-40 minutes, until it has a soft and mushy consistency. Remove the bay leaf, then add the milk, stir to combine then remove from the heat. Then blend the soup with a hand blender until smooth, return to the heat, and finally, add the creme fraiche for a special creamy finish.
Serve immediately with crusty bread and a bit of grated cheddar. The soup can also be frozen in separate portions. It can be reheated in the microwave, but it’s best heated up in a pan with a little milk.