When I was younger I didn’t much care for vegetables. The one exception to this was my regular request for ‘Mummy’s Vegetable Soup’. I had tried soup in tins, in restaurants or at other people’s houses but nothing else came close. I think the thing that fascinated me about it was that no matter what amount or combination of vegetables went in (never potato) it would always come out somewhere between green and orange and it would be just right. No stock, no cream, no cheese it was just vegetables and water. It was my Mum’s way of clearing out the fridge, feeding me vegetables (willingly!) and it was even better after a snowball fight.
Wash the leeks and then slice them thinly. Heat the butter in a saucepan on a low to medium heat and fry the onion and leeks for around 15 minutes until softened but not brown. Peel and dice the potato then add this to the leeks and put the lid on the pan. Leave the potatoes to soften for around 10 minutes.
Add the stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Boil with the lid on until the potatoes are tender then add the cream and some salt and pepper. Let the soup cool down before blending the soup until smooth. Return to the pan to warm through and then chop up the chives and use them to top the soup.
The soda bread recipe I use is the Fabulous Baker Brother’s recipe as it’s so easy and works really well. You can find their recipe and video here and here. It’s worth watching the video to see the texture and shape you are aiming for.
Preheat your oven to 230C and put a baking tray into the oven to heat up. Mix all the ingredients for the soda bread together until you have a dough. Tip onto a floured surface then form into a ball, flatten it slightly then place the dough onto the heated baking tray and put a large cross in the top. Leave to bake for 15-20 minutes or until it sounds hollow on the bottom.
Such a classic soup and one of my favourites I add a few chives and a dribble of cream to give a little weeknight luxury. Whenever I feel a bit blue this delicate, homely and cheap soup warms me up and makes everything ok. I love that it’s so basic and humble but delivers the internal hug that I need so well. Pair that with bread you can make in minutes fresh from the oven and it doesn’t get much better.