27 April 2011

Lunch from true leftovers : Asparagus, Fennel, Leek, Celery and Potato Soup

I made lunch for myself today.

Nobody else was here - hubby was back at work, son & heir back at school, so all was peace & quiet.


I had a bag in the vegetable drawer of my fridge, which had been collecting "things I could use in soup".  This bag - and the potential soup - had been burning into my imagination ever since Sunday, when I started putting stuff into it.

So, at the commencement of the big soup cook up, my soup bag had all the woody asparagus ends from the Easter dinner, the top ends, i.e. the fluffy bit, stalks and a bit of the sections from the fennel, a limp leek and some celery sticks that hadn't made it into the stock pot.

I chopped the celery sticks up and washed and sliced the leek.  Then I added two of the mangy Maris Piper potatoes that I'd used the better ones of for the Boulangere Potatoes at Easter.  I chopped them into tiny pieces that wouldn't take long to cook.

Then, I melted a knob of butter in a saucepan and added a tablespoon of olive oil to it.  Once melted, I threw the celery, leek and potato on top and got everything sweating down.

I then went back and chopped the fennel and cut each asparagus piece into two.

I had taken a pint or so of home made chicken stock from the freezer and heated that in another pan.  By all means, if going for a vegetarian version, use vegetable stock.  The fennel and asparagus went into the main pot and the chicken stock followed on.

I then seasoned, put the lid on and simmered it whilst I cleaned the kitchen up.

Once the asparagus and potato were softened and cooked through, I set the soup to one side to cool for a moment, then put it through a blender.

Returning it to the pan, I stirred in three or four tablespoons of double cream, checked the seasoning and added a large pinch of chopped parsley, reheated and served.

Did it make a great lunch?  Oh, you bet your life it did.  There's even (don't tell anyone) enough left for lunch on Friday.

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