I have a soft spot for a good soup; growing up, every day my mother had a fresh type of soup ready when we got home from school and even though I can never make my own taste as good as hers, I love making soup. Soup is comforting and perfect for a cosy meal; I adore cold winter nights, wrapped in a blanket with a good movie and a bowl of soup with some crusty bread. As I’m dreaming of cooler weather, I’m really in the mood to make a delicious soup so that’s what we will be doing today; we will be making potato and leek soup from 1958.
This recipe comes from the April edition of The New Idea for Women magazine from 1958. As part of their Mary Farmer’s cooking pages, this edition features some Easter holiday menu ideas and even though it’s not Easter, it’s something delicious to whip up anyway. Let’s see what we need.
3 leeks (or large onion)
3 tablespoon butter
Chop up 3 leeks (or a large onion) including most of the green leek tops and fry gently in about 1 tablespoon of butter until transparent and golden (rather than crisp).
Add 4 peeled and sliced potatoes, some salt and enough water to cover. Simmer until the potatoes are very soft.
Mash with a fork, add pepper, remove from the heat and add 2 tablespoons of butter.
Pour the soup over thick squashy toast made from 8 to 10 slices of French bread.
Whilst making this soup, I added a dash of chicken stock powder just to amp up the flavour and instead of mashing with a fork, I used my stick blender to blend everything together. The soup was tasty but a touch on the bland side. I wanted it a bit thicker and creamier and unfortunately, this recipe did not hit the spot.
The recipe asks to be served over thick, squashy toast made from 8 to 10 slices of French toast. I looked all over the internet trying to figure out what squashy toast was (I mean, is it just crusty bread that’s soft in the middle?). I reckon this recipe wants to be served with bread but unfortunately, the local shops were all sold out (we live in interesting times) so I just ate it as is.
When I first tasted the soup, I wanted it to be a little bit more amplified than it was. I understand that this menu was intended as an entree and is a light starter but it was just a bit thin in taste. I want to add a few things to the recipe; I want to cook the potatoes in chicken stock, then I want to add some aromatics and herbs in the form of a bay leaf and thyme. To really add some creaminess to the soup, a bit of thick cream would also be ideal. I know it’s not the way the recipe was intended but this would just boost it up a bit.
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