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Leek and Potato Soup with Smoked Haddock

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The cleverness in this Leek and Potato soup recipe is in the method: follow it to the letter and you will have a bright green leek soup, thanks to the addition of the spinach. This is from chef Mark Doe’s Just Cooking school in Kerry.

Serves 4

200g undyed smoked haddock fillet
200ml milk or enough to barely cover the haddock
3 medium leeks
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
5 medium floury potatoes, peeled and quartered
850ml vegetable stock
50ml cream or full-fat milk
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crème fraîche to serve

Instructions

1. Place the smoked haddock in a shallow pan and barely cover with milk. Bring to the boil and simmer the fish until it flakes when pressed. Remove the fish from the pan and allow to cool. Flake the fish and set aside.

2. Wash the leeks well, removing any grit. Remove the tough green tops and discard. Chop the rest of the leek finely, keeping the white and dark green parts of the leek separate.

3. Add the oil or butter to a heavy saucepan and place over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft without browning them. Once the onion is soft, add the white part of the leek and cook for another 4 minutes until softened. Add the potatoes, followed by the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fully cooked. Add the green part of the leek and cook for 5-6 minutes until soft. Add the cream or milk and blend the soup. Add more stock or water if the soup is too thick. Return the soup to the saucepan. Season with salt and black pepper. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a gentle simmer. Add the smoked haddock, heat through and serve topped with crème fraîche.

TIP – Soups depend on developing a base of flavour at the start so don’t skimp on cooking the vegetables.

Vegetarian soup: To make this soup vegetarian, omit the smoked haddock from the recipe.

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