RECIPE: Very Easy Leek and Potato Soup

Leek and potato soup

A very long time between posts and plenty of new content planned but I thought I’d start with something quick and easy. Both to cook and for me to write up while I get my blogging mojo back into gear.

Here in Adelaide we’re in the depths of winter. After a couple of deceptively sunny days, Mother Nature has spent this week throwing everything at us. Not only has it been cold but it’s been wet too. Great for the garden, not quite enough rain for those involved in agricultural pursuits …

My go-to winter food is soup. I love it. Unfortunately, Andy isn’t such a fan so we don’t eat quite as much of it as I’d like … but fortunately the need to very quickly dream up a meal meant that leek and potato soup, topped with tons of bacon and chives was on the menu. It’s also fortuitous that I’ve just completed a bread making course, thanks to Le Cordon Bleu (details on that to follow) so we had some potato and rosemary sourdough bread ready to go – the perfect accompaniment!

I’ve written about soups before – and this is in the same vein. It’s hardly a recipe – it’s more about the flavour combinations. If you like your soup thicker, use more potato and less water/stock. If you like it thinner … use more water/stock. I think that a good rule of thumb is to cook the soup with the water just covering the ingredients and then let it down if you want to, after you’ve blitzed.

Serve with fresh bread, or toasted bread, thickly spread with butter!

RECIPE: Very Easy Leek and Potato Soup


  • olive oil
  • ½ brown onion, chopped
  • 1 large leek, chopped
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and chopped finely
  • chicken or vegetable stock
  • bacon
  • chives


  1. Warm the olive oil in a big pan and add the chopped onion and leek. Sweat them down until they're relatively soft, but avoid the temptation to crank up the heat, as you don't want them to pick up too much colour.
  2. Add the chopped potato and the stock so that the vegetables are just covered and boil (covered, otherwise you'll evaporate off the liquid!) until the potatoes are cooked. The smaller you cut the potatoes, the less time this will take. Keep an eye on it as it cooks, as even with the lid on you may need to add a bit more liquid.
  3. As the soup is cooking, cut the bacon up into small pieces (lardons, if you like) and fry them off in a separate pan. We like them nice and crispy.
  4. Once the potatoes are soft, turn off the heat and blitz the soup until it's nice and smooth. At this point, add more stock or water if it's looking too thick for your taste. Adjust the seasoning too.
  5. When you're ready to serve, ensure everything is hot, then ladle the soup into bowls, topping with bacon and chopped chives.

Asparagus and Bacon Tart


This is a quick midweek supper: supplement it with a salad and make sure you don’t eat it all as it’s delicious cold for lunch the next day!

Asparagus has a short season – this was beaten into me while living in England when everyone (well, everyone interested in food) goes a bit mental banging on about the 6 weeks of the year you can buy English asparagus.  Anyway, it’s asparagus season now in Australia and you can should be able to pick some young tender stalks up cheaply.

This is another proper storecupboard meal – once you have your asparagus everything else you’ll probably have hanging around the house.

Begin by making your pastry (or, grabbing some pre-made shortcrust from the freezer).  I always make shortcrust because, with the aid of a food processor, it’s so quick it’s a shame not to.

My basic recipe is 150g of plain flour, 75g cold, unsalted butter, 1 egg yolk (use the white to make meringues!), a pinch of salt and cold water to bring it all together.  Rest in the fridge, wrapped in clingfilm, for half an hour or so.  This makes enough pastry for  a 23cm (or so) tart tin.  If you have the will, bake it blind – it does really pay off with a nice crispy base!

For the filling, chop and fry 2 rashers of bacon.  Spread this evenly over the base of the pastry case.  Now add your fresh, roughly chopped asparagus.  You might want to reserve 3 or 4 spears for decoration – you might not.  I used the best part of 2 bunches of young asparagus.

Whisk together 5 eggs, add a generous couple of tablespoons of thick cream, and season with pepper (no salt!).  Pour over the bacon and asparagus, top with some grated parmesan and some grated cheddar and bake in an oven preheated to 160°C fan (or 180°C normal) for about half an hour – until the egg is puffed up and the tart is golden.

You don’t need to serve this piping hot – as the warmer weather approaches, room temperature would be perfectly acceptable. The tart filling will sink back a bit as it cools, but it will still look – and tast – fantastic.