This time of year, when the days are quickly beginning to get shorter and colder, and the gales begin to relentlessly batter our island again, I am all about comfort food: mashed potatoes and thick onion gravy, hearty soups and crusty breads, and cake. Can’t forget the cake.
I think, as humans, we all go into a bit of a hibernation mode this time of year. There’s something really comforting about sitting in front of a roaring fireplace with a bowlful of soup and some fresh bread to dip into it. Or, weather permitting, I’ll pour the hot soup into a flask and take to the hills on an Autumn adventure with soup for lunch.
One of my favourite, seasonal soup recipes for the Autumn is this hearty tattie (Scots dialect for potato) and leek soup. Traditionally, this Vicjyssoise, originating from France, is served cold, but I like to serve mine hot with some freshly baked baking powder biscuits to dunk.
The biscuits, or scones, are a recipe from my rural Canadian childhood and hold all the nostalgia for me with their sharp baking powder flavour. They’re super quick to whip up too – taking only five minutes to prep and ten to cook. Perfect when you want those comforting carbs, quickly.
When making this soup you want to use a floury potato such as Maris Piper or Premiers. It’s important to take your time when cooking the onions and leeks in the butter at the beginning, as this gentle cooking brings out the flavour of the vegetables.
If you want to freeze this soup for later, omit the milk and cream, freezing the soup after the puree stage for up to three months. Defrost, reheat and then add the dairy.
Tattie & Leek Soup
25 grams butter
1 large brown onion, coarsely chopped
300 grams leeks, coarsely chopped
600 grams floury potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 litre of chicken stock
250 ml double cream
300 ml full fat milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the butter in a large soup pot over a medium heat. Add the onions and leeks and cook gently for about ten minutes, until they begin to soften but do not change colour.
Add the potatoes and chicken stock and simmer over a low heat for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
Remove from the heat and puree the soup with a hand blender.
Stir in the cream and milk, season well to taste and re-heat gently. Do not allow the soup to boil.
Baking Powder Biscuits
2 cups plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
4 tbsp butter
¾ cup milk
Preheat oven to 210 C/ 190 C fan.
Place the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
Rub in the butter with your fingertips until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Stir in enough milk to make a kneadable dough.
Turn out onto a floured surface and roll out to a thickness of one inch.
Cut into rounds with a circular, fluted cookie cutter and place on a baking tray.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack (or eat warm!).
These scones/biscuits will keep for a couple of days in an airtight container.
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