50ml extra virgin olive oil
2 big leeks
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
200ml dry white wine
5 medium Agria potatoes (800g)
2 lt chicken or vegetable stock (see recipes at www.capitolrestaurant.co.nz)
1 Tbsp preserved lemon
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
Small bunch chives
200g crème fraiche
Flaky sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Trim the outer leaves of the leeks, wash and slice them lengthways, then roughly chop to a width of about 1 cm. Dice the onion, peel and slice the garlic, then pick the thyme leaves. Warm the olive oil in a heavy bottomed stock pot over a low heat, add the leeks, onion, garlic and thyme to gently sauté for about 10 minutes until they are soft and sweet.
As the leeks sauté, peel and roughly chop the potatoes.
Add the white wine to the leeks and let it reduce. When there is not much liquid left, add the potatoes and chicken stock. Bring it up to a simmer and cook for 20 – 25 minutes, just until the potatoes are tender. Blend the soup in a food processor, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Finely chop the parsley and preserved lemon and stir these through. Serve the soup into warmed bowls and garnish with a dollop of crème fraiche, some chopped chives and some crusty bread.
The final addition of preserved lemon and freshly chopped parsley lifts the fragrance and texture of this classic soup. This batch is big enough to have some left over for the freezer, however if you’re doing this, hold the parsley and preserved lemon until you’re ready to defrost and eat. Make the soup with either chicken or vegetable stock, and vegans can substitute crème fraîche with cashew cream and extra lemon.
Makes: 3 lt soup
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 35- 40 minutes