Have cold, want soup

13 Apr

Urgh. Flu season! The one downside to winter and commuting to work on a train packed full of people who don’t cover their faces when they sneeze. And here I was thinking I’d avoid it this year by feasting on multivitamins, vegetable sticks and OJ.

Anyway, I’m at work, doing my best to spread love germs. What I really want is to be at home, in bed, with a big mug full of soup and a few movies. Because soup totally kicks arse when you have a cold. There’s minimal effort involved in eating it, it’s warm, and usually only take a few minutes to make.

I happen to be really, really good at making soup – I think, perhaps, that it may be genetic. My mum still makes the best ever vegetable soup when I visit her in winter and I remember pots of bubbling soup featuring prominently in my childhood – massive saucepans full of pumpkin, potato, or ham and pea soup that we’d gradually make out way through, boiling it every day for extra flavour.

By far my favourite soup this winter is potato and leek soup. It’s an oldie but a goodie, and The Boy and I have been making it with tubs of cream and a heady dollop of horseradish. I can’t quite remember how the horseradish came about – I think I wanted steak sandwiches one night and forgot the meat – but it’s a stroke of genius. I can’t get enough of it and will suffer days of heartburn and nausea for this soup it’s that good.


  • 6 red skinned potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2-3 leeks, sliced
  • chicken stock, enough to just cover the potatoes – about 1 litre
  • 250 ml of cream
  • 2 tablespoons of horseradish cream
  • splash of olive oil

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium to high heat. Wash and slice the leeks, using the white part only, and toss them in the pan. Saute until there’s some colour in there, adding a bit of stock if things are starting to stick.

Peel the potatoes, cut them up into 2cm cubes, and toss in with the leeks. Cover with the chicken stock and boil until tender.

Whiz up the potatoes and liquid using a bar mix until smooth. Start pouring in some cream, stirring over a low heat. I normally don’t add the entire 250 ml but it’s up to you. If things are looking a bit too thick, add more chicken stock.

Dollop in some horseradish cream and serve, topped with a sprinkling of parsley if you like, with fresh garlic bread and Parmesan. Or just do what I do when I’m home alone and ladle it straight from the pot into your mouth in big, hungry spoonfuls.


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