Potato, Leek and Stilton Soup

*Potato, Leek and Stilton Soup*
Makes 4 to 6 servings

Proof positive that the humblest of ingredients can be simply turned into some very special.

25g butter (2 TBS, scant)
2 medium leeks, trimmed, thinly sliced and washed thoroughly
250g floury potatoes (the type of potatoes you would use to make mash. 4 -5 medium potatoes)
(Peel and cut into thick slices)
1/2 litres of hot fresh vegetable stock (generous 5 cups)
2 bay leaves, broken in two
100ml single cream or evaporated milk (scant half cup)
fine sea salt and ground white pepper to taste
125g Stilton cheese, rind removed and crumbled (plus extra to serve) (1/2 cup)

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium/low heat.   Add the leeks.  Cook, stirring occasionally, without browning until softened.  Add the potatoes, stock and bay leaves.  (I crumble the bay leaves slightly to release more flavour.)    Season to taste with fine seasalt and white pepper.

Bring to the boil, cover and reduce to a simmer.    Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are well softened.  Remove from the stove.  Fish out and discard the bay leaves.  Add the stilton and cream.  Blitz with a stick blender, or in a regular blender (in several batches and with care) until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

Ladle into heated bowls.  Crumble some additional Stilton over each bowl.   Serve.
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