Leeks are members of the onion family but have a milder and sweeter flavour than white and red onions. The lower white and light green parts are the more flavoursome bits and the dark green tops are usually discarded. Look for firm stalks that feel fairly weighty and are vibrant in colour. They will also store for a couple of days in the fridge but are best eaten fairly quickly. At this time of year leeks are still in their infancy and are great grilled whole. There are many great soup recipes with leeks, but also try chopping them finely and add to a mirapoix of carrot, onion and celery to make a punch base for homemade sauces and stews.
- Heat 25g butter and 75ml olive oil.
- Add 2 chopped shallots and 2 cloves of chopped garlic, 1 tbsp arborio rice, 2 tbsp fresh thyme.
- Finely slice 300g of leeks and wash thoroughly, then transfer to the pan.
- Sweat leeks down by half and add 50ml white wine and reduce by half again.
- Add 400ml vegetable stock and reduce by half.
- Add 50ml double cream before blending.
- Season and serve with freshly ground black pepper and warm crusry bread.
(Tip…blend the soup with a hand blender and serve up with a spoon to keep it nice and frothy).