Sausage rolls and scotch eggs

Sausage rolls and scotch eggs

Monday, 2 March 2015

Friends Friday

No-Salt Bread, Leek and Potato Soup & Hot or Cold Chocolate

Fridays get-togethers used to be a regular occurrence at my house. My friends would all come round and I would make something nice to eat. At the time this started, I was self-employed and kept Fridays free. My cousin and one friend were stay-at-home mums and my other friend didn't work on Fridays, perfect! Since i started work in September, it is very rare that we are all free at the same time but half-term gave me a rare opportunity to cook, a lot!

Soup is an easy choice. it's quick, it's nutritious and you can even usually get the kids to eat it too. Leek and potato is my daughters favourite and I never tire of chopping all those beautiful, healthy ingredients, cook them slowly, blitz and have something that not only tastes amazing but soothes your soul. Made all the better with some fresh, arm, buttered bread to dip in it. 

I like to use butter for this soup. In most, oil is fine but when you're sweating vegetables, butter seems to bring out more sweetness and richness. Sweating the vegetables is important in most soups. Don't be tempted to skip or reduce this part, it really does make a difference.
This is the first time I've tried making bread without salt in it but for my boyfriends sake, I thought i'd give it a go. In most things, I don't miss the salt and you soon find ways to flavour things without needing it. I missed it in the bread and then I only had unsalted butter to spread on it. Yet there was still something exceptionally good about having fresh bread. It was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone else.

As for the hot or cold chocolate, my friends were told to bring their favourite chocolate bars or box of miniature chocolates. When we were ready for dessert, I offered them it hot or cold. Cold meant it would be whizzed up with some ice cream to make a milkshake. It seems to be a very fashionable thing lately to make almost anything into a milkshake and I confess to really enjoying them. 

Hot meant deep fried! Now, before you screw your face up or dismiss the idea instantly, please read on. I have never tried it before and I had no idea what I would make of it. It was, of course, born from the Scottish delicacy of deep-fried Mars Bars but, me being me, it seemed a bit easy and predictable. All the adults opted for hot and we sampled deep fried Toblerone, Snickers (My choice, I love anything nutty), Double Decker, Aero and Creme Egg.
What can I say to tempt you into trying it? Imagine your favourite chocolate bar, covered in a light, crispy batter, molten and gooey in the middle, with a contrasting scoop of cold, creamy ice cream and if you're feeling a little fancy, a generous dusting of icing sugar. It is the most intense sensation with so many textures and temperatures going on in your mouth. Yes, it is a one-way ticket to Diabetes but I urge you to keep this for a special treat.

Leek and Potato Soup

30g butter
2 large or 4 small leeks
2 onions finely sliced
3 medium potatoes diced (I don't peel them)
800ml good quality vegetable stock
500ml of whole milk
salt & pepper
Parsley (Optional)


Slice the leeks finely and give them a really good rinse.

Melt the butter in a large pan. Add the onion, leeks, potatoes, a pinch of salt and plenty of pepper, put the lid on and allow to sweat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Add the stock and milk and heat through for 5 minutes. 

Add the parsley, if using and blend with a stick or in a blender. Test for seasoning and warm before serving.

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