….. with an Indian/Welsh twist …..
As many of you know by now – I do love vegetables ……or at least most of them!
When I grew up Leeks, in one form or another, appeared on our table at least once or twice a week.
Grandpa had a nice biggish vegetable garden behind his house where he grew nearly everything possible and the women in the family at that time always managed to come up with a wonderful variety of recipes for this and other vegetables.
But since leeks are not always readily available in the Supermarkets here, I make full use of them whenever I find them in their shelves. This means that we will be eating leeks at least 2-3 times that week – changing my recipes around to avoid boredom. And yes, this is just one of those weeks – a delivery of leeks had arrived in our Supermarket and so, you guessed it, I have been cooking various different dishes, partly from memory, partly from my little box of old old recipes and partly with my new ‘spur-of-the-moment’ input. So far, touch wood, I seem to have hit just the right button on my taste buds and hopefully at least some of you, who read this, will like today’s delicious soup and the other leek recipes which will be posted in the near future.
This following recipe is pretty much a standard one – in fact ideal for a light supper or an after party treat.
What does she mean by this, I hear you ask – simple, exactly what I wrote.
Many many years ago I started a habit (which soon became a sort of ‘tradition’ in our house). I started serving big chunky mugs filled with delicious hot nourishing soup after our official entertaining. Some of you know these occasions, where in a room (or garden) filled with well over 100 people one does not have a chance talking to some of the people one would really like to talk, like old friends etc., due to protocol, priority or whatever. Just imagine weddings, big birthday bashes etc. – so we started asking certain people discreetly to stay behind after the 2-hour long reception, which was very much appreciated, more so when we lived abroad somewhere on this planet. The ladies were only too happy to shed their high heeled shoes and literally flop onto the nearest sofas, chairs or even floor. The men, tie loosened, followed quickly suit and that’s when we brought out our soup. And after a few drinks and delicious ‘finger food’, the hot heart-warming, soul refreshing soup, was more than well received.
This became such a success that it was not only copied (the biggest form of flattery, right ?) but guests started to ask “what is the soup of the night?” And so I kept this by now ‘tradition’ going well past retirement from official life.
As always, I tell you what I used here for 2 people – so do not be too rigid – adjust to your own need and taste.
What you need:
250 gr Mincemeat (Keema)
3 x medium sized leeks, cleaned, most of the top green part discarded
4 x garlic cloves, finely chopped (or use garlic powder) – optional.
2 x Beef- or Vegetable Stock cubes dissolved in appr. 500 ml water
200 – 250 x gr of soft cheese (I used Mozzarella), cut into small cubes
3 x Tbsp of thick curd or crème fraîche
1 x medium sized potato, peeled and sliced thinly
Salt, pepper, to taste
2 x tsp (home-made) curry powder
2 x tsp paprika powder
2 x tsp ground nutmeg
2 x Tbsp Vegetable oil
How to cook:
First of all prepare your leeks further by washing them thoroughly to remove all the dirt between the layers. Then cut them into fine rings and keep aside.
Heat the oil in a wide pot – add the Mincemeat and quickly fry this for app. 5-8 minutes; add salt and pepper. Stir.
Now add the previously prepared leeks, mix and fry this further for another 5 minutes or so.
Add the stock, stir, reduce heat to fairly low, cover with lid and let this cook for maybe 10 minutes (check – don’t let leeks get mushy).
Add the cheese, Mozzarella is fine here, let it melt completely.
Add curd or crème fraîche and turn up heat a little bit for just a couple of minutes. Keep stirring.
Taste and add all the remaining spices. Mix well and check if this to your own liking.
I frequently serve just a couple of thin slices of ‘French bread’, slightly toasted and my own garlic butter scraped over it.
That’s it. Guten Appetit.
🙂 thank you
That’s a new and interesting take on leak and potato soup – I must try that 🙂
thank you MD, and I do hope you will try this – more to come soon 🙂 🙂
love the colors!!
🙂 🙂 – thank you.
I have texture issues so I’d have to puree the soup but I like the combo of leeks and potatoes.
Sorry to hear about your issues! Next batch I make I will puree the soup in the end to see what it is like for you – the taste certainly should be there. And btw, leeks and potatoes – the standard normal combination (which I too like, but of course with much more potatoes 🙂 ).
No biggie. In some dishes, I don’t have a problem with chunks of leek and potatoes, but in soup, I do and prefer a creamy texture similar to that found in cream of broccoli soup. Maybe cause I grew up eating those dried packages of Knorr brand cream of leek soup. 🙂
I look forward to reading what you think of the modification.
I can only imagine the many wonderful conversations! Isn’t it interesting that food is always connected with celebrations and fellowship.
Rebecca – of course you are right with your last sentence!! But for people, who because of their job have to stick to (as it was then!!!) strict protocol rules and certain niceties those “stay-behind-and-let’s-have-fun” occasions always were just that – fun and relaxation and good conversation! 🙂 🙂
Sounds wonderful, Carina. Most of your recipes do! 🙂
thank you, Jo. Hope you are keeping ok – hugs to you.
Oh Carina, you have made me laugh and ‘break’ my blogbreak! Shhh!!! Oh I too learnt this ‘second, fun stage’ of entertaining from one of my best gfs; the wife of Head of UNICEF SE Asia in Bangkok for many a year 🙂 ! Wondered the first time I received the whisper in my ear ‘Don’t go when the others do’ . . . only to find a cocktail party for over a 100 morph into a delightful ‘dinner’ for a dozen or so! Shoes off, laughter levels up!!! Copied her back home: of course!! Have to try your soup: nice concoction twixt East and West and, yes, I love leeks too and can indulge here . . .
hahaha Eha – somehow I was hoping you would come up with a reply like that. But first of all let me assure you that this was one of my ‘diplomatic niceties’ I had not copied from someone but thought of it all by myself!!!:):) But – I can see you gliding through the throngs of your many guests and doing the discreet whispering trick to a selected few – and I hope we would have been one of them :). Gosh, it was such fun!!
Carina! But this is SO logical! Only remember it first at a particular ‘do’; way back when 🙂 ! And ever repeatedly 🙂 !! Am SO smiling we both are having gorgeous memories . . .
Interesting dish, quite new for me.
I adore leeks , so I ‘ll try this ASAP , thanks so much
Ciao – glad you found something here I think you will like. You can of course always turn up ‘the heat’ if you wanted to. 🙂
What a great concept Carina. I never enjoyed those formal evenings and I know few people who do. A great antidote.
Enjoy!!! Conor – who does really? But…..I am now ‘out of it’ and although the diplomatic (and of course also business-) parquet is now a bit less formal, protocol and certain niceties do still prevail ….it does go with the job!! 🙂
This wold have so much more flavor than the standard potato and leek soup. Definitely worth a try. Thanks for sharing.
thanks John – remember, this is a lovely soup where you can ‘play around’ a bit according to your own palat. We normally make it a bit ‘hotter’ – but one still wants to taste the meat and the leeks. And btw. I could easily fill a couple of months blogs with leek soup alone – just pots and leeks is so b o r i n g! 🙂 🙂
Loved reading about your childhood memories. Such a delicious twist on potato leek soup. This soup with spices is exactly what I want in this cold weather. Comfy, delicious and so full of exotic flavors. Thanks for this wonderful share. Wish you a lovely week ahead. 🙂
thank you Anu – of course you can ‘up’ the spices a bit here if you like. I kept it on the mild side, once not to overpower the leek/keema etc. taste and secondly the majority of my readers are from abroad (non-Indian) who are not used to our kind of heat 🙂 🙂
What an interesting life you had Carina. Your soup looks wonderful with all those added flavors. When I was a child in Germany my favorite leek recipe was leeks in a white sauce with raisins served over boiled potatoes.
Hi Gerline. Long time – no see!!! 🙂 Glad you are back. Yes, I indeed had, and now with my husband JS I have another one and loving every moment of it 🙂 You know, Leeks in a white sauce with raisins…… I never had that. But, will try this one, just to see, as soon as I find some more leeks in my Hypermarket. Take care – tschuess fuer heute.