Darina Allen, co-founder of the of the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, County Cork, Ireland, is #38 on the list of 50 Women Game Changers in Food. She is the author of several cookbooks and has been called "The Julia Child of Ireland".
In honor of Ms Allen, I made her Winter Leek and Potato Soup. It is mild and delicious with a
velvety smooth texture. It's amazingly simple for a weeknight meal and yet elegant enough for your guests. Definately a keeper!
Winter Leek and Potato Soup
Adapted from Darina Allen's recipe courtesy of BBC Good Food
1/2 stick of butter
1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 small onion, cut the same size as the potatoes
1 lb white part of leeks, sliced (save the green tops for another soup or stock)
3 and 2/3 cups of chicken stock
2/3 cup carton whipping cream
1/2 cup full-fat milk
the white part of 1 leek
a small knob of butter
finely chopped chives
- 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 well with salt and freshly ground pepper and toss again. Put a disc of greaseproof paper (called a cartouche by chefs) on top of the vegetables to keep in the steam), then cover the pan with its lid. Cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft but not coloured.
- Uncover the pan and discard the paper. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil and simmer until the vegetables are just cooked - about 5 minutes. Do not 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 a clean pan and stir in three quarters of the cream and all of the milk.
- To finish the soup, finely shred the white leek and gently cook it in the hot butter for a few minutes until it is softened but not coloured. Reheat the soup to a gentle simmer (add some extra stock at this point if the soup is too thick for your liking), then pour into warmed bowls. Drizzle the remaining cream over each serving, top with a little pile of buttered leeks and a scattering of chives and black pepper and serve at once.
For more recipes by Darina Allen, please visit:
Joanne - Eats Well With Others
Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan - The Spice Garden
Heather - girlichef
Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney
Jeanette - Healthy Living
Viola - The Life is Good Kitchen
Barbara - Movable Feasts
Kathleen - Gonna Want Seconds
Amy - Beloved Green
Jeanette - Healthy Living
Linda - Ciao Chow Linda
Linda A - There and Back AgainMireya - My Healthy Eating Habits
Martha - Lines from Linderhof