Try this simple, delicious and nutritious homemade vegetable soup for the chilliest autumn days.
Creamy leek and potato soup with crispy pancetta (4 serves).
50 g (1¾ oz) butter
400 g (14 oz) Désirée potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm (½in) dice
1 onion, cut into 1cm (½in) dice
300 g (10½oz) leeks, very thinly sliced
1.2 litres (2 pints) vegetable stock
150 ml (5 fl oz) double cream
125 ml (4 fl oz) milk
For the topping
The green part of 1 medium leek
2 tbsp butter
2 thin slices of pancetta
Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. Add the potatoes, onion and leeks and stir them in the butter until coated. Season, then cover the pan and cook over a gentle heat for 8-10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Pour in the stock and, leaving the pan uncovered, bring to the boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Purée in a blender until smooth, then season well. Pour the soup into a
clean pan and stir in the cream and milk. For the topping, finely shred the green part of the leek and melt the butter in a pan. When the butter is hot, gently cook the leek in it for a few minutes until softened. Place the pancetta under a medium grill and cook until crisp. Transfer onto kitchen paper. Reheat the soup to a gentle simmer (add some extra stock if it’s too thick), then pour into warmed bowls. To serve, top with a little pile of the green leek and broken pieces of pancetta.