Every October, at honTony mansion, we receive a huge box of seasonal Hokkaido potatoes, delivered direct to our door. It is another subtle reminder that autumn has arrived, and, as always, the big test is working out how to use all these delicious spuds (potatoes) in an interesting way before we get sick of them!
Many of you will know that I love cooking, and the recipes which were published in the Student Newsletter always received positive feedback. I don’t have much chance to spend time in the kitchen these days as I don’t usually get home from work until late. However, Monday is one night when I am at home, and I usually make dinner for whoever is in the house – family and/or friends. So, based on that, I am starting this series of Monday night recipes straight out of the honTony kitchen.
A warm and filling soup is the perfect supper dish for this time of the year, either as a starter, or served up with some fresh, crispy bread (a French baguette for example) as a main dish. In the autumn months, the seasonal produce is generally perfect for soups and if you look around the small vegetable shops in your area, which often sell local produce, I am sure you can find two or three ingredients which go well together which you can throw in the pan – be creative, and invent your own simple soups. We can publish them on here if you have any great (and tasty) ideas! 🙂
Potato and leek soup is a very simple dish to make, which is absolutely perfect at this time of the year, as the evenings start to get a little colder – and another thing, it’s cheap, too! It is also a classic British soup, but whose ingredients are always available in Japan.
You could use 100% Hokkaido ingredients, but it doesn’t really matter 🙂
4 good sized Hokkaido potatoes, peeled and chopped
6 beautiful green and white leeks, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 or 3 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
2 or 3 bay leaves
1 bunch of delicious mitsuba
500ml of light fish stock – just boil up a few fish bones for a few minutes and drain
butter and/or olive oil
salt and black pepper
a selection of any or all of the following as extra garnish – cheese, croutons, tabasco, lemon
Melt a mixture of oil and butter in a big pan – olive oil might be too strong for you, but I love it after so long living in Spain. Chop all the vegetables roughly and throw them in the pan with the bay leaves and garlic. Saute for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the fish stock and then pour in enough water to cover the ingredients.
Bring to the boil and then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. When the vegetables are cooked turn off the heat and take out your super-duper hand-held blender (see photo).
I think the soup is much more interesting if you leave chunks of vegetables in it – so don’t blend to a puree. It is always much more exciting to find a piece of leek or a lump of potato on your spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add the milk, if desired, and re-heat the soup in the pan. Ladle into bowls and add some cheese and tabasco (my favourites). Finally, chop up the mitsuba and sprinkle on top. You could also squeeze a bit of lemon into the mix instead of the tabasco, or you could throw in a few croutons in place of the crispy French bread – it is entirely up to you! 🙂
This recipe serves about 10. I froze some of the soup for a later date, which is always a good idea as it can save you a lot of time one busy evening later in the year.
Happy cooking! More honTony recipes soon. Enjoy 🙂