Leek and potato are probably two of the most common vegetables one will find in a winter/ early spring vegetable box. For the London Acorn School community, our impression of the marriage of these two is probably from the leek and potato soup that Karin serves in Little Acorn parent and child group. Karin reminded me a conversation I had with her in the kitchen when she indicated her intention to serve this soup to the littles ones. I was mentioning how ‘strong’ leeks are. Then Karin said, ‘well it’ll be ok, I’m using dill too’ – at which I roared with laughter and said ‘Dill is even STRONGER!’
The fact is, when one does get a chance to try it out, one would be so surprised at how amazingly mellow the soup tastes! The recipe below is not only an attempt to use up what might have been left in our fridge, but also an attempt to reproduce the lovely aroma and warm feeling brought by Karin’s soup. It will not be exactly like hers, but will not be too far away from it as ‘Hey! We have got her secret ingredients –dill and lemon zest.’
*This recipe serves 2~3 people as the starter of a meal
- potatoes (medium size) x 2
- leek (large size) x 1
- dill x 4 sprigs (about ½ cup when cut)
- Lemon zest of half a lemon (could be more)
- olive oil (or any other types of cooking oil) x 2 table spoons
- bouillon x 3 tea spoons
- crème fraîche
- salt (depending on personal taste, may not be needed)
**If you do not serve the soup with crème fraîche, add some lemon juice when cooking the soup. More lemon juice, zest and dill could be optional add-ons when serving.
1- Wash the vegetables and remove any unwanted parts. Children can help peeling the potatoes. Remember to remind them that we always move the peeler “away from us”. Adults can cut the potatoes to the size manageable for children first. When children are chopping, it is better to cut only one or two slices at a time. As for the leek, adults can quarter the leek before giving it to children for cutting. If your child is 5 years old or above, when cutting the leek, you can say ‘Now I’m cutting it into halves.’ And when cutting the halves, you can say ‘Now I’m cutting them into quarters.’ (This is not compulsory though. Only do so if you feel like doing it.)
2- Add two table spoons of oil in a pan and cook the chopped leek pieces. When you can smell a nice aroma from cooking leek, it is time to add in the potatoes. (The leek does not have to be caramelised.) Stir them well, then add in bouillon and reasonable amount of water. Leave to cook until the vegetables are softened.
3- While the soup is being cooked, zest the lemon and cut the dill into small fragments. You can break off some feather shaped dill leaves as a garnish for the soup. Children can help chopping the dill with a pair of scissors.
4- When the soup is cooked, switch the cooker off, then add in the dill and lemon zest. Stir well.
5- Allow to cool before processing in the blender.
6- Warm up the soup.