Leek and Potato Soup
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, sliced
225g/8oz potatoes, cubed
2 medium leeks,sliced
1.2 litres/2 pints vegetable stock
150ml/5fl oz double cream or crème fraîche
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onions, potatoes and leeks. Cook for 3-4 minutes until starting to soften.
Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Season well and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
Whizz with a hand blender or in a blender until smooth. Reheat in a clean pan, stir in the cream or crème fraîche, heat through and serve
425g/15oz potatoes, peeled and diced to 5mm/1/3in
110g/4oz onions, diced
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
120ml/4fl oz creamy milk
freshly chopped herbs to garnish
Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. When it foams, add the potatoes and onions and toss them in the butter until well coated.
Sprinkle with salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cover with a butter wrapper or paper lid and the lid of the saucepan. Sweat on a gentle heat for approximately 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring the stock to the boil. When the vegetables are soft but not coloured add the boiling stock and continue to cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
Add the milk and purée the soup in a blender or food processor. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Serve sprinkled with a few freshly chopped herbs or some of the following garnishes.
2 tbsp walnut pieces (optional)
1 tbsp tarragon or cider vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp walnut oil
1 tsp honey
900g/2lb new potatoes, such as Jersey Royals or Charlotte, washed or scrubbed
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped cornichons or gherkins (optional)
If you're using the walnuts, place in a hot oven (about 200C/400F/Gas 6) for a few minutes until beginning to colour slightly. This gives a fresher, less bitter flavour to the nuts.
Place the vinegar, mustard, oils, honey and salt and pepper in a screw-top jar or in the bowl of a small hand blender. Shake or blend well until creamy. Add more seasoning if preferred.
Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for about 15-20 minutes until just tender. Drain well and, when just cool enough to handle, cut into halves or quarters, if quite large.
Place the potatoes in a mixing bowl with the tarragon, shallots, cornichons or gherkins and walnuts, if using, and toss in as much or as little of the dressing as you want. Serve just warm or, if you're not eating straight away, refrigerate and return the salad to room temperature before eating.