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Leek & Potato Soup with Sage & Rosemary Pesto
Sweet, flavoursome and delicious this chunky version of Potato & Leek soup combines beautifully with the Sage and Rosemary Pesto to give a delicious, earthy and rich flavour. Warm satisfying nourishment for cold weather days.
For the pesto:
1 bunch sage, about 1 cup leaves
1 bunch rosemary, about 1 cup leaves
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Celtic sea salt
1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
For the soup:
2 medium leeks – 750g – 1kg
70g unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
Celtic sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1kg potatoes, peeled – I use Dutch Creams as they hold their shape
750g sweet potato, peeled
6 cloves garlic, skins removed
1/2 bunch thyme sprigs
1/2 cup shiro miso
2 litres water
To make the Pesto:
Rinse the sage and rosemary drying them as much as possible.
Place in a food processor with the garlic and pine nuts.
Blend until finely chopped.
Add the olive oil, Celtic salt to taste and parmesan and blend until smooth – adjust to taste.
Put into a sealed container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
To make the Soup:
Trim the leeks – cut off the roots and trim the tops just a little, keeping most of the green, discarding the outer layer.
Cut in half lengthways and wash under running water to remove all the dirt.
Slice into about 1/2cm pieces.
Heat the butter and olive oil in a heavy based pan,
Sauté the leeks over a moderate heat with about 1/4 tsp Celtic salt and freshly ground pepper. After a coupe of minutes cover and continue cooking for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Whilst the leeks are softening, cut the potatoes into about 2cm chunks.
Add the potatoes, garlic and thyme to the leeks with the water and shiro miso.
Simmer gently over a low heat with the lid on for about 15 minutes.
Check the potatoes are cooked – tender but still holding their shape.
Remove any visible springs of thyme, adjust favouring i.e. salt & pepper.
Serve the soup with a big spoonful of pesto.
1 bunch of sage
1 bunch of rosemary
1/2 bunch thyme
1 bulb garlic
1kg Dutch cream potatoes
1kg sweet potatoes
2 medium leeks
Shiro miso – available from health store, organic shops and some supermarkets
75 – 100g pinenuts
virgin olive oil
100g Parmesan cheese
Sage was used by cultures as a daily beverage, just as we now drink tea. Sage strengthens the brain and heart, quickens the memory. Give yourself a daily dose of Sage as a tea, a sage leaf on a slice of bread and butter. Also coming soon in the SoulFoodTeas Brain Boost Tea!
Thyme I thought I knew a bit about this flavoursome herb that I love cooking with. Something new – Thyme was a favourite Roman herb brought initially from Africa to provide beehives with its rich pollen. The common Thymus Vulgaris provides bees with the best raw material in the plant world for their honey making! It would seem pertinent to grow lots of this considering the current threatened state for bees.
Sage and Thyme therapeutic offerings combine brilliantly to soothe and ease sore throats. Both have antiseptic properties – make a tea, cool and gargle – add some raw honey if wish.
Shiro Miso is a young sweet miso, light in colour and flavour. It’s light colour make it a fabulous replacement for stock in soups and casseroles. Used as a stock it adds a delicious rich sweetness to the soup, enhancing the flavour of the potatoes and herbs.