Leek and parsley soup


  • Serves 4 - 6 people

This light soup makes a hero of tender leeks, while a generous amount of parsley brings a burst of grassy freshness. To take it gluten-free, add a swirl of crème fraîche in place of the croûtons.

  • 70 gm butter, diced
  • 3 leeks, rinsed well, thinly sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 floury potato (such as sebago, about 250gm), coarsely grated
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 litre (4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 150 ml pouring cream
  • 1 cup (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley, plus extra coarsely chopped, to serve
  • 1 cup (firmly packed) baby spinach leaves
  • Buttery croûtons
  • 120 gm butter, diced
  • 2 thin slices day-old sourdough bread, crusts removed, cut into cubes
  • Juice of ½ lemon and finely grated rind of 1 lemon
01   Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add leek, celery and garlic and stir occasionally until tender but not coloured (4-5 minutes). Stir in potato, thyme and bay leaf, season to taste, then add stock and cream. Bring to a simmer, half-cover with a lid and continue to simmer until well flavoured and potato is tender (5-10 minutes). Discard thyme and bay leaf. Add parsley and spinach and stir until wilted, then purée with a hand-held blender and adjust seasoning to taste.
02   Meanwhile, for buttery croûtons, melt butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add bread and fry, stirring occasionally, until golden brown (4-5 minutes). Strain butter through a heatproof sieve into a metal bowl and stir in lemon juice. Toss croûtons with lemon rind in a separate bowl.
03   To serve, ladle soup into bowls, scatter with croûtons, drizzle with a little hot butter and scatter with chopped parsley.
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