Classic soup to pick you up

Classic soup to pick you up

Hello and welcome to another all about food. This week is a classic. Enjoy!

Ask Gingergirl

Hi Gingergirl,

I like to make soup, usually leek and potato, but it always tastes bland. When I have soup in a restaurant it is always so tasty! What can I do to improve the flavours of mine? I use Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon for the stock but perhaps there is something better?

Kind regards,


Hello Maurice,

I think I know what your soup is missing… cream. In fact, I am confident that it’s cream and butter! Life was so much better when we used butter and cream with gay abandon!

Oh how I miss those days! I grew up watching my wonderful Granny put butter in everything (eggs too, but that’s another column); to this day, no one makes dinner (or bread, or cake...) like my Granny Keown (although my mother does come in a very close second).

Sometimes there is simply no substitute so grab on to that butter and cream and savour every mouthful!

Leek and Potato Soup

Serves 6, generously

50g butter

450g potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm pieces (I use Kerr Pinks)

1 onion, cut into 1cm pieces

450g white parts of leeks, sliced

900ml of best quality chicken or vegetable stock

140ml carton whipping cream

125ml full-fat milk

Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan.

When it foams, add the potatoes, onion and leeks and toss them in the butter until they are well coated.

Season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss again before covering the pan with its lid.

Cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft but not coloured.

Pour in 850ml of the stock, bring to the boil and simmer until the vegetables are just cooked – this will take approx. 10minutes. Don’t overcook or the soup will lose its fresh flavour.

Purée in a blender until silky smooth, in batches if necessary, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Return the soup to the pan and stir in three quarters of the cream and all of the milk.

Reheat the soup to a gentle simmer (add some extra stock at this point if the soup is too thick for your liking), then serve with a drizzle of the remaining cream, a scattering of chives and some black pepper.

Contact Gingergirl


Gingergirl aka Helen Keown is an artisan food producer who produces a range of handmade luxury jams, preserves and chutney’s made from local, seasonal or organic ingredients.

Helen’s produce is available nationwide from independent food emporiums and is also available at selected food delis across Europe.

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