My dad grew up in the north of England. In 1959, he got a scholarship to the University of Texas and spent the summer traveling. First, he sailed the Queen Mary to New York, and then he got on a tiny plane to Austin. He met and married my mom in Austin, and two years later, they returned to England for part of their honeymoon. Occasionally over the years, my mom, who was a wonderful cook, would tell us that English food was all “cold toast and mushy peas.”
Imagine my dismay, then, to discover that for the first It’s a Vegan World event I planned to participate in, Vaishali decided to feature British food. “But, but, I don’t want cold toast and mushy peas!” I thought. But even while I was thinking that, I knew I wasn’t being fair. British food has come a long way in the last 50 years, and it’s always had delicious food, I have no doubt. Also, one of the reasons I took up blogging and started participating in blog events, was to stretch my culinary horizons and give myself a few challenges. What could be more of a challenge than to cook something tasty from a cuisine I was brought up not to like? And it’s the food of my ancestors, no less.
Reading through many recipes, I came across Leek and Potato Soup again and again. You can’t go wrong with soup at my house, so this looked perfect. This is a very simple recipe. If you use the best-tasting ingredients possible, you’ll be rewarded with delicious soup.
Leek and Potato Soup
1 tablespoon vegan margarine
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 or 3 leeks, cleaned well and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large Russet potato, diced
4 cups chicken-flavor vegetarian broth (I used water and Massel bouillon powder)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (I recommend Tellicherry pepper)
salt to taste
1 cup non-dairy milk or creamer (I used water and Better Than Milk soy milk powder, made double strength)
chives to garnish
Heat margarine and oil together in a medium soup pot. Add leek and garlic and sauté over medium heat until leek is soft, about 10 minutes. Add potato, broth, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook 15 to 20 minutes, until potato is tender. Taste for salt. Using a potato masher, mash potato if desired. Add milk or creamer and heat gently. Garnish with chives.