Sunday, January 15, 2012

Leek and white bean soup

We had the first snow of the winter yesterday, and everything looks very frosty and cold, but we had a lovely sunny afternoon good for a brisk walk to blow away the winter cobwebs.  What could be more perfect than to warm up with a good home made soup.

I had 3 leeks sitting patiently in my fridge waiting to be used, so I decided to use them and make a slightly different rift on the classic leek and potato soup that I often make.

3 leeks cleaned and cut up
1 garlic clove thinly sliced
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
4 cups of chicken stock
1 can of white cannelloni beans (or any white bean)
1 sprig of rosemary (about two inches)

Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large pot and then add the chopped leek and garlic.

Cook on low for about 1/2 an hour with the lid on stirring occasionally, until the leeks are very soft but are not browned.

Wilted leek and garlic
Add the remaining ingredients.  I added the rosemary sprig in a piece that can easily be removed before serving, but go easy as rosemary can be a very overwhelming herb and the flavours of the leeks and white beans are very delicate.

Simmer on low for a further 15 to 20 minutes.  By now the leeks will meltingly soft as will the white beans.  Before serving taste for salt there may have been enough in the chicken stock, but I added a good grind of fresh black pepper and using a potato masher I squashed some of the beans to give the broth a little body. Remove the rosemary sprig and serve.

This served two cold walkers with enough left over for a quick dinner for me later this week after a long day and commute home probably in the snow.

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