Tip for boiling potatoes

Donít add salt to the water when you are boiling potatoes Ė this stops them splitting. Instead drain them, and then season.

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Potato soup with pancetta and cheddar cheese

When you have extra potatoes, don't leave them to turn green. Instead make this warming rich soup. It freezes well if you don't add the cream until you reheat it. Omit the pancetta if you haven't got any or use bacon instead.

Serves 4


1.4 kg of potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (roosters or Maris Pipers are good)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, white part only, washed and finely sliced
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
100ml single cream
100g pancetta, cubed
2 oz of grated cheddar



1. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and pour enough cold water over them to cover. Add a good pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down to medium and cook them until they are easy to pierce with a fork.

2. While the potatoes are cooking, add the olive oil to a frying pan. Fry the leeks with the bay leaf with a good pinch of salt and a grinding of black pepper over gentle heat until the leeks are soft. Add the leeks with the bay leaf to the cooked potatoes and the cooking water. Cook for another 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard.

3. Add the cream to the potatoes and leeks. Whizz the potato and leek mixture with a hand blender or pureť in a stand blender. To finish, fry the pancetta in a dry non-stick pan until crispy. Serve the soup with grated cheddar and crispy pancetta sprinkled on top.

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