Leek, Potato and Bacon Soup
Cooking time 25 minutes
300g washed and finely sliced leeks
300g peeled and sliced potatos
150g lean and chopped bacon
700ml chicken or vegetable stock
Fresh ground pepper
1. Saute the potatoes, leeks and bacon in a pan, until soft but not coloured.
2. Add the stock and cook until the potatoes are tender.
3. Liquidise until smooth.
4. Return to the pan and add the milk; for extra richness add cream.
Leek and Goats Cheese Rarebit:
Preparing and Cooking time 30 minutes
1 Ciabatta loaf
2 Medium leeks, trimmed, washed and finely chopped
25g Plain Flour
1 x 5ml tsp Mustard Powder
110g Creamy British goats cheese
Light sprinkling of Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper
1. Cut the Ciabatta loaf into 2cm slices. Place in a hot oven for 5-8 minutes to crisp and lightly brown. Rest on a cooling rack to keep crisp whilst preparing the rarebit.
2. Melt the butter in a medium size pan and gently sweat the leeks for 2-3 minutes to soften but not brown. Stir in the flour and mustard powder. Gradually stir in the milk and bring to simmering point to thicken the sauce.
3. Stir in the goats cheese until melted.
4. Generously spoon rarebit onto the toasted Ciabatta. Brown under the grill until bubbling and serve immediately.
Autumnal Soup of Pumpkin, Leek and Apple
Cooking time 30 minutes
250g Diced pumpkin
1 x Chopped onion
1 x Peeled, cored and grated English apple
250g Trimmed, washed and diced leeks
1 x Large baking potato. Peeled, washed and cut into small cubes
1tsp Caraway seeds (optional)
25g Unsalted butter
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Creme Fraiche as a garnish (optional)
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the onion and fry gently for a minute. Add the leek, pumpkin and caraway seeds. Fry gently for a further minute or so until soft but without colour.
2. Add the potatoes and cover with stock. Place a lid on the saucepan and simmer for 25 minutes until the pumpkin and potatoes are tender.
3. Remove the lid and stir in the grated apple. Simmer for a further 5 minutes. Add a pinch of ground cinnamon and remove the pan from the heat. Blend with a hand blender or liquidiser until smooth then strain back into the saucepan and serve. Garnish with a spoon full of creme fraiche and chopped parsley.
Mousseline of Leek and Smoke Trout
Cooking time 30 minutes.
2 Medium leeks
225g Smoked Trout
225g Creme Fraiche
1 Sachet gelatine powder
2 Egg whites
1 x 15ml tbsp Olive oil
2 x 15ml tbsp Fresh chopped parsley
1 Lime, grated zest and juice
Sprinkling of ground Sea Salt and Black Pepper
Lime slices to garnish
1. Trim the leeks and half lengthways. Pull away sufficient strips of leeks for the filling.
2. Place the leek strips in a colander over boiling water for 2-3 minutes to soften. Rinse under cold water.
3. Line the ramekin dishes with alternate strips of smoked trout and leek leaving sufficient to fold back over the filling.
4. Prepare filling. Place remaining leek in a food processor and chop until fine. Gently saute the leek in the olive oil for 5 minutes to soften but not brown.
5. Finely chop the remaining smoked trout and parsley and combine with the leek, lime zest and juice and seasonings. Stir in the creme fraiche.
6. Place 2x 15ml tablespoons of cold water into a small cup and sprinkle gelatine over. Microwave briefly for 5 seconds to dissovle the gelatine to a clear liquid. Stir into the leek mixture.
7. Whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer until the bowl can be inverted without loosing the filling. Gently fold egg white into the leek mixture using a metal spoon. Spoon the filling into the lined ramekin dishes and fold back the leek and smoked trout over the filling.
8. Chill for at least two hours until the filling has set. Gently turn out onto individual plates and garnish with lime and parsley.
Fried Asparagus in Beer Batter
115g Plain flour
Salt and Pepper
1. Mix the flour and seasoning together. Add the beer to the dry ingredients, mixing gently until the batter is thick enough to cling to the asparagus.
2. Cut the asparagus into 5cm pieces. Heat 5cm of olive oil in a pan, then deep-fry the coated asparagus until it is golden brown, turning it once.
40g Flaked almonds
1 tbsp Lemon juice
1/2 tsp Salt
1. Trim away the woody ends off the asparagus spears. Boil or steam them until they are tender, then drain them.
2. Melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the almonds and cook them over a low heat, stirring frequently, until they turn golden brown (this takes about five minutes).
3. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice and the salt, then pour the sauce over the hot asparagus and serve immediately.
Cream of Asparagus Soup
2 Bundles of asparagus, trimmed
1 Leek, washed and trimmed
400 ml Vegetable or chicken stock
1 tbsp Double cream
1 tbsp Olive oil
4 Medium eggs
Cut the asparagus into 3cm lengths. Save the tips and set aside. Halve the leek lengthways and cut into 1cm pieces.
2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the leek and asparagus. Saute for 3 minutes, until the vegetables are starting to soften. Add the stock and bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes, until the asparagus is soft and cooked through.
3. Blend the soup in a food processor or with a hand blender, until smooth. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper and return to the pan. Add the double cream and warm through.
4. Toss the asparagus tips in olive oil, and heat a large griddle pan. Griddle the asparagus for two minutes. Serve the soup in warmed soup bowls, toppiing each bowl with a poached egg and some asparagus tips. (When poaching an egg, put them into boiling water with a dash of vinegar as this helps to keep the egg together.)