Seasonal eats: Potato & leek soup from Stone Soup Foodworks

Chef Jacqueline Jolliffe, Stone Soup Foodworks

Spring will be early this year if you believe the various groundhogs that saw their shadows February 2.  But you don’t need to wait for warmer weather to enjoy some seasonal local vegetables.   Those still available in Ottawa include potatoes and leeks, both of which are featured in this comforting winter soup from Chef Jacqueline Jolliffe.

Jolliffe is the owner of Stone Soup Foodworks, a food truck that specializes in fresh, healthy lunches and sustainable catering. An avid cook and environmentalist since she was a child, Jolliffe taught high school before realizing that the only truly sensible career path for her was to open a soup truck and teach the lost skills of chopping, cooking and preserving real food grown in real soil by real people.

“At Stone Soup Foodworks, we believe that food can be good for people and good for the earth as well as being delicious,” Jolliffe says. “We also believe that local and organic foods should be affordable for all, and that convenience does not mean that we have to forego taste and ethics. Our mission is to connect people with one another and with the land through a rich and healthy relationship with food.”

 Potato & leek soup

Prep time 20 minutes, cooking time 35 minutes (if you have vegetable stock on hand).  Serves 12 as an appetizer.

1/4 cup unsalted butter

6 large white leeks, sliced and well-washed

2 tsp salt

8 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

enough vegetable stock* to cover, plus two inches.

1 cup whipping cream (or reserve for garnish)

*You can find simple recipes for homemade vegetable stock at sites such as Canadian Living and Allrecipes.com

Melt butter on medium heat in a heavy saucepan. Add leeks and salt and cook for 10-15 minutes until softened and nearly melted.

Add potatoes and cover them with stock to one inch above the potatoes.  Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are very soft.

Blend using hand blender until very smooth. Stir in cream and heat gently.

 Garnish with chives or cream.

What’s your favourite winter soup recipe?

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