Category Archives: potatoes

Potato, Onion and Goat’s Cheese Frittata

Potato Onion and Goats Cheese fritatta

I asked Father Christmas for a skillet this Christmas. Not because I am the kind of woman who values pots and pans over things like books and records, but more because I was fed up with burning the living crap out of my cookware when I stuck it in the oven only to discover that it wasn’t actually ovenproof. Take it from me, there is no smell on earth quite like that of plastic which is melting onto the floor of your (already decrepit) oven due to your own incompetence. As it was, Santa did me a solid, and on Christmas Day I woke up to discover a pleasingly skillet-shaped object underneath my Christmas tree. “Oh, the things I’ll make with you!” I thought to myself, right after I spent a good five minutes pretending to whack Mr. McMc over the head with it in a Reeves and Mortimer-esque manner.

And, indeed, I’ve made quite a few things with my new favourite piece of kitchen equipment, from pilafs and fritters to pancakes and frittatas. I’ve also managed to give myself a few cracking kitchen injuries with it too, the best one involving me scalding my right boob with it while tipping out an omelette. You’d have thought that I’d have realised by now that skillets are both a) very heavy and b) get hot exceedingly quickly, but judging from the resplendent red stripe on my tit, obviously not.

However, minor cleavage injuries are totally worth it when you’re whipping out some of the best frittatas you’ve ever made in your life, such as this Potato, Onion and Goats Cheese Frittata. Ok, so it’s not exactly reinventing the wheel in terms of egg-based meals, but it’s simple, it’s quick and it combines crispy potatoes, tangy goats cheese  and caramelised onions, making it pretty damn tasty. Best of all, you can get it from idea to plate in the space of twenty minutes – fantastic for those evenings where you wish to do little more than eat, drink booze and watch marathons of Ru Paul’s Drag Race. And seeing as it’s January, you could probably get away with calling it healthy too. Although lets not get ahead of ourselves here.

POTATO, ONION AND GOAT’S CHEESE FRITTATA (Serves two, or one greedy person)

You will need:

  • 4-5 medium sized, waxy potatoes
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 medium sized eggs
  • 50g goats cheese
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • Salt and pepper to season

Make It!

  1. Switch your oven on to Gas Mark 5/200 degrees c. Locate a ovenproof frying pan (after all, we’re making a frittata here, not trying to set our oven on fire.)
  2. Slice your potatoes with a mandolin, or the slicing side of a box grater (watch your fingers!). Season, and set to one side.
  3. Fry the onions in a tablespoon of olive oil until they begin to turn soft, and slightly brown. Remove from the pan and set to one side.
  4. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan. Layer the potatoes thinly on the bottom and cook for 2 – 3 minutes.
  5. Beat the eggs with the goats cheese, rosemary and thyme (the goats cheese should easily crumble into the eggs.) Season with salt and pepper, and pour over the potatoes. Cook over a medium heat for 1 – 2 minutes, until the mixture has set. Put the pan into the oven and cook for five minutes until the top has turned bronze, and the eggs have set.
  6. Leave to cool slightly before serving. This goes well with a leafy green salad or – if you’ve spent your day grappling with spreadsheets like I had when I made this – a large glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc.
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Duck Hash

So, how were your weekends readers? I spent mine doing the usual activities; such as eating, drinking, baking and writing. Oh, and I also ran the Race for Life (you can still sponsor me here if you’re feeling generous). After all of that strenuous activity I decided I needed some quality ‘me’ time. So, I decided to relax in the best way I knew how.  By shoving a beer can up a duck’s arse.

OK. So I know what you’re thinking; “what kind of sick woman gets her kicks by ramming pieces of tin up unsuspecting bird’s rear ends?” Well, I can confirm that no (live) poultry was harmed in this experiment (although I was tempted to wave my beer-can-compromised-duck at our next door neighbour’s chickens as a warning that this is what would happen to them if they didn’t shut up). Instead, I was conducting my usual Sunday afternoon trick of using every cooking implement in our house by making this Peking Duck recipe that I found over at Serious EatsI’ve long been a fan of their ‘Food Lab’ column (even if it can be totally and utterly bonkers at times) which shows you how to make brilliant restaurant style classics via the use of a few kitchen hacks, and I’ve yet to make a recipe from there which hasn’t resulted in the creation of something ridiculously delicious.

I would recommend that anyone and everyone makes their Peking Duck recipe. While the skin of the bird didn’t turn out quite as crispy as I would have liked, and I somehow managed to get honey everywhere (don’t drink and marinade kids!) it wasn’t a bad first attempt for someone who had never cooked duck before. Mr. Cay and I spent a very happy Sunday evening feasting like kings on poultry and pancakes while watching England limp out of the football on penalties.

On Monday night, grumpy and full of a cold/hayfever hybrid that just will not quit, I decided to use the leftovers to create some quality comfort food – a Duck Hash. I’m a huge fan of hashes, mainly because they’re simple, tasty and a great way to use up all of those Sunday dinner remnants. First, I cooked some waxy potatoes in a few pints of chicken stock, which imbued them with a nice savoury flavour. Then I fried those, a sliced onion and a handful of shrivelled cherry tomatoes which I found at the back of my fridge in some leftover duck fat until they turned brown and crispy. Topped with some shredded leftover duck and a fried egg and it was a Monday night tea fit for a Queen – as well as a fitting end for a fowl which had been roasted in a most ungracious manner.

DUCK HASH (Serves Two)

You will need:

  • 400g waxy potatoes
  • Two pints of chicken stock
  • One onion, sliced thinly
  • A large handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 250g shredded cooked duck breast, or the meat from two cooked duck legs
  • 3 tbsp duck fat (or olive oil if you don’t have any duck fat handy)
  • 2 duck eggs
  • A good dash of Tabasco sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to season

Make It!

  1. First, slice your potatoes in two, and boil them in the stock for around five minutes (they should still feel quite firm when you stick your knife in them to see if they’re cooked).
  2. Drain the potatoes and leave them to cool (you can do this the night before if you wish). When you’re ready to use them, chop them into even-sized chunks.
  3. Heat your duck fat in a large frying pan. Sauté the onions until they become translucent, then add the potatoes. Cooked for five-ten minutes until they begin to turn brown and crispy. Add the chopped tomatoes, shredded duck and salt and pepper and cook for another two minutes. Flatten the mixture down with your spatula while it’s cooking so it becomes one huge greasy, crispy mass.
  4. Once the hash has cooked, and turned brown and crispy around the edges, take it off the heat. Fry the duck eggs in another frying pan until they’re just the way you like them (I prefer them sunny side up with a nice runny yolk).
  5. Divide the hash evenly between two plates and top with the fried eggs. Sprinkle liberally with the Tabasco sauce and eat immediately (this goes well with a big mug of tea and lots of bread to mop up the excess grease and egg yolk).
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Bacon, Fennel and Potato Crumble

Crumble is one of those peculiarly English things which appears to have passed me by. Whilst everyone I know adores it, I’ve always found it to be quite underwhelming. Perhaps it’s because my overriding memory of the stuff is being served it at school dinners. Mancunian school-dinner-crumble was practically inedible – big lumps of fibrous mulch hidden underneath a bone dry topping. The best part was the chocolate custard it came with, although this was invariably lumpy, with a rather unpalatable skin on top. No wonder I begged my Mum to allow me to take packed lunches to school.

Perhaps the problem lay with sweet crumbles. OK, so they’re the quintessential British teatime treat, but apple crumble has never really buttered my crumpet. Savoury crumbles however. Well, they’re another matter entirely.

The idea for this Bacon, Fennel and Potato crumble came when I was wondering exactly what to do with all of the fennel bulbs festering away at the back of my fridge and contemplated turning them into a tasty gratin. However, I was all out of breadcrumbs and there was no way I could acquire any (if by ‘no way,’ you mean ‘I couldn’t be arsed schlepping to ASDA to buy any’). So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and create my own savoury teatime masterpiece. Potatoes were boiled and sliced, bacon and fennel sweated in their own delicious juices, and the whole thing was smothered in créme fraiche and a bucketload of cheese. The end result was delicious – sweet, salty and savoury all at the same time, a big plate of comfort.

Whilst I may still take some convincing on the merits of fruit crumbles, this Bacon, Fennel and Potato Crumble is definitely a keeper. In fact, it’s so good, it deserves to have an entire song dedicated to it…

BACON, FENNEL AND POTATO CRUMBLE (Serves Four)

You will need:

  • Four medium sized potatoes
  • Two bulbs of fennel, thinly sliced
  • Four slices of good quality bacon
  • 300ml créme fraiche
  • 50g cheddar, grated
  • Salt and Pepper

For the crumble topping:

  • 150g plain flour
  • 150g butter
  • 50g parmesan, grated (I estimated it as being 50g, but honestly, just add as much as you like to make it tasty)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to season

MAKE IT!

  1. Peel your potatoes, cut them into chunks and boil them for around five minutes. Drain, leave to cool, and slice thinly. Layer these at the bottom of a large casserole dish
  2. Slice your bacon into chunks, and fry in a tablespoon of olive oil. Once it’s sizzling, and there’s lots of lovely fat in the pan, add the sliced fennel, and sauté until it’s turned soft. Layer these over the top of the potatoes and smother in the creme fraiche and the grated cheddar.
  3. Make your crumble topping by adding the butter, chilli powder (if using), grated parmesan and salt & pepper to the flour, and rubbing the mixture between your fingers until it turns sandy and resembles breadcrumbs. Pour this on top of the bacon, fennel and potato mixture.
  4. Bake at 200 degrees C/Gas Mark 5 for 40 minutes until the crumble has turned crisp and golden.
  5. Serve immediately.  The leftovers can be reheated and make a nice lunch (or breakfast if you’re greedy and don’t fancy a bowl of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes).
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Pork, Potatoes and Pilsner – Adventures in Prague

As you may have gathered from the dearth of posts on here, I’ve been rather busy recently – who knew that trying to hold down a full time job, a freelance career and a personal life whilst studying for a digital marketing qualification could take up so much time?  The past fortnight has seen me pretty much living out of a suitcase, and being forced to buy clean knickers from Tescos because I had no time to go home and fetch a fresh pair. I’m scared I’m going to become one of these women who carries emergency underwear in her handbag, next to the lipbalm and the loose change.

So, finally, last Friday I decided I’d had enough. It was time for me to leave these shores and head to pastures new for a few days. Those pastures new being Prague, land of churches, cheap pork products and a strange foodstuff known as “beer cheese” (the promise of beer cheese alone was enough of an incentive for me to be honest). The holiday didn’t really get off to the best start when we were faced with a seven hour delay after one of the engines of our plane set on fire whilst we were on the runway. However, when faced with such a setback, I turned to the one thing which I know for a fact will bring me succour in times of woe. Namely, booze.

Some would say that 7.30am is too early in the morning for Breakfast Martinis. I am not one of those people. Especially when aforementioned Martini comes with a (frankly ridiculous) slab of cold toast shoved onto the side of it.

By the time we got to Prague, both myself and Mr. Cay wanted to do nothing more than go to the pub. Which we duly did. This decision was justified when we discovered that beer in the Czech Republic is both cheap (an average pint will cost you around £1.20) and delicious, and that you could smoke in pubs. Which led to us both getting rather tanked, smoking like priests and eating pizza in bed. A very fine way to start a holiday by anyone’s standards really.

Being sensible and ridiculously gluttinous types, we decided to spend our holiday eating, drinking and looking at beautiful (and occasionally strange) buildings. Here’s some of the highlights:

WHAM, BAM, THANK YOU HAM

On our first day there, we decided to go exploring, and upon entering the Old Town Square, our nostrils were immediately assailed by the delicious smell of roast meat. I’m a sucker for any time of pork product, so I couldn’t really turn down the opportunity to feast on some authentic Prague ham, served up with rye bread and plenty of mustard.

It might possibly be the best ham I’ve ever eaten – juicy, smoky and with a delicious layer of crackling which we crunched between our teeth whilst watching a Czech television personality sing traditional folk tunes. It was so good, that I’ll even forgive the bloke who sold it to me for ripping me off after I handed him the wrong bank note.

It transpired that the ham man was there as part of International Chefs Day. Which meant that it would have been rude not to try some of the dishes being served up, like this amazing homemade lamb sausage from Apartmán hotel Jítrava . Served with garlic spiked mashed potatoes and an apple relish, it was just the thing to keep out the chill of a rainy October afternoon.

BEEF AND BREAD

The evening saw us dining at U Pinkasu, a cute – if slightly touristy – restaurant situated in Jungmannovo Namesti. U Pinkasu specialises in traditional Czech cuisine which, it transpired, is exceedingly heavy on the whole ‘meats and carbs’ side of things. Seemingly every dish on the menu appeared to contain ‘bread dumplings’ (which weren’t so much dumplings as very soft, doughy slabs of white bread), potatoes or (frequently) both. This is not the kind of food you want to be eating if you’re on the Atkins diet. Full marks must also go to our waitress – a woman who could not only carry five steins of beer in each hand, but who also appeared to speak four different languages (whilst we were there, we heard her speak to diners in Czech, Italian, English and Russian), and the section of the menu which was entitled ‘For Gourmets and Feeders’.

Beef goulash with bread dumplings and horseradish

Old Bohemian Beef in Cream Sauce with Cranberries and Bread Dumplings (apologies for the poor pictures, beer had been consumed at this point).

STUPIDEST THING I ATE

The award for ‘most outrageously stupid thing I ate on my holidays’ undoubtedly has to go to this heart attack on a plate -a deep fried potato pancake filled with pork & chicken, and covered in cheese. For some bizarre reason, I decided to order this for my lunch. In my defence, I think I might have been slightly under the influence of strong drink at the time. It would be wrong to say that this wasn’t delicious, but it was also absolutely bloody enormous. I ate about half of it before I gave up, and spent the rest of the afternoon lying on the bed in my hotel, rubbing my distended belly, and feeling like a boa constrictor who has just consumed a large deer.

You would think that after that little incident, I would have learned my lesson. No. No I didn’t. On our final day, prior to boarding a flight back to the UK, I had these potato dumplings filled with smoked meat and fried onions on a bed of cabbage. Undoubtedly tasty, but not the kind of thing you want to be eating when you have to be wide awake and drag a heavy suitcase across a city full of cobbles. They also gave me a raging heartburn that took me a good 24 hours to eradicate.

JEWISH FOOD AT KING SOLOMON’S

On our final night in the city, we decided to treat ourselves, and dine at King Solomon’s in the Jewish Quarter, allegedly the oldest  Jewish restaurant in the Czech Republic. The meal wasn’t perfect – they don’t serve wines by the glass, the restaurant was dreadfully quiet and one of the waiters appeared to having an argument with one of his colleagues about the music on a Jewish radio station which was being played in the background – but the food was excellent, and there’s always something quite lovely about an intimate  candlelit dinner. The standout highlight of the meal for me was their chicken soup with herb knedlich. I always thought that my Bubbie made the best chicken soup in the world, but sorry Bubbie – you’ve got competition.

Goulash with Matzo and herbed dumplings

Veal with bread dumplings (which, slightly bizarrely, came with a large squirt of whipped cream on the side of the plate)

We washed this all down with complementary shots of slivovitz, a potent plum brandy that you’ll find being served up at restaurants and bars across the Czech Republic. We would have had dessert, if it wasn’t for the fact we’d consumed this bad boy earlier that day.

Baileys Chocolate Mousse cake, aka three layers of chocolatey-dessert-joy. This was sinfully, indecently good. Especially when coupled with a strong espresso.

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BOOZE?

Ah yes. The booze. Czech beer is possibly some of the finest beer I’ve ever tasted. Crisp, refreshing and punchy with hops, it’s a million miles away from the bland swill you so often find in British pubs. There’s a seemingly giddy array of Czech breweries, with Pilsner Uruquell being the most common. A lot of pubs also served Kozel, a dark beer, that looked like ale, but had a surprisingly light, almost fruity taste to it.

I also – in a fit of post dinner madness one night – indulged in a shot of the local spirit, Becherovka. It’s pretty interesting stuff, with a taste that’s a cross between floor cleaner and cinnamon tictacs, and a kick like a donkey. The lemon version is slightly tastier, but it’s definitely not something I’d advise you to try if your preferred tipple is Malibu. For reasons I’m still not entirely clear of, I bought a bottle to take home with me which is now taking pride of place in my drinks cabinet. I’m thinking of making cocktails with it. Does anyone know what mixes well with alcoholic Dettol?

SO, THAT WAS PRAGUE

After five days of Central European bliss, me and Mr. Cay  finally returned to Liverpool on Wednesday pickled in alcohol, marinaded in pork fat and – very probably – two stone heavier. It was worth it though. We’re already fantasising about where our next adventure is going to take us. But for now, back to the real world. Thanks Prague. You’re really something.

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A Very Scottish Breakfast – Lorne Sausage and Potato Scones

It’s Mr. Cay’s birthday on Tuesday. I was always raised to believe that it’s never polite to discuss a gentleman’s age in public, so I won’t tell you how old he’s going to be. However, I can tell you that he’s not happy about it. Not happy at all. Have you ever tried living with a grumpy Scotsman readers? I’ll tell you now, it’s not exactly a laugh riot.

Mr. Cay has often talked about his love of square sausage with a faraway look in his eyes as he’s cursed the fact that it’s nigh on impossible to find the stuff South of the Border. So, to encourage domestic harmony (and because I like a challenge), I decided to celebrate his advent into middle age by making him a traditional Scottish breakfast – Square (also known as Lorne) sausage and potato scones. Go to any halfway decent greasy spoon in Scotland, and you’ll find both of these being served, usually by women with thick arms who call anyone and everyone ‘Hen’. Fried in butter, and smothered in ketchup, they are heart-attack-inducingly good, especially when washed down with a cup of strong tea.

I’ve always loved potato scones, although, being from the North West of England, I’ve always known them as potato cakes. When I was a kid, my Dad would often buy us packs when he went shopping and we’d toast them and devour them in record time – usually before we’d unpacked the rest of the shopping. Making them is alarmingly easy and immensely satisfying – just add mashed potatoes to some flour and melted butter, slice and grill on a screamingly hot pan.

Seeing as my butchery skills are remedial at best, I was slightly worried about how my attempts at sausage making would turn out. Especially when – whilst explaining my project to my local butcher – he scratched his head and informed me that a) he’d never heard of Lorne Sausage and b) adding allspice to pork was ‘all kinds of wrong’. I needn’t have fretted. The finished product was delicious – thick, fatty, and spicy, it was everything a good sausage would be, especially when accompanied with piping hot potato scones, fresh off the griddle. It was so good in fact, that Mr. Cay’s usual Mark E. Smith esque scowl turned into a wide eyed grin which lasted for the rest of the day – even when he stubbed his toe against the bathtub. Which makes me wonder. Why can’t all of life’s little problems be solved with pork and carb-heavy foodstuffs?

LORNE [SQUARE] SAUSAGE (Makes around eight slices)

You will need:

  • 450g good quality pork sausagemeat
  • 450g good quality beef mince (not too lean!)
  • 120g dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • Salt and Pepper to season

Make It!

  1. Plop your dried breadcrumbs in a bowl and add 150ml water to them. Mix until it forms a smooth paste. (You can skip this part if you’re using fresh stuff made from leftover bread).
  2. Add the pork and beef mince, allspice, coriander & salt and pepper to the breadcrumbs, and mix thoroughly. Use your (clean) hands to do this – it’s really rewarding to feel all the ingredients squish through your fingers. You want to make sure that everything is combined really well, otherwise you’ll get huge lumps of meat or rusk when you’re eating your sausages.
  3. Pack the mixture tightly into a loaf tin which has been lined with clingfilm, and chill for two-three hours.  When you’re ready to cook your sausages, cut off thick slices and grill in a piping hot griddle pan. Serve with potato scones and lashings of ketchup.

I made my potato scones with mashed potato that I’d made the night before, mainly because I didn’t really feel like indulging in a bit of spud bashing at 10.30am on a Sunday morning. However, these work just as well with freshly made mash, which may actually add a little bit more moisture to the finished product. Just be sure to add plenty of butter and salt & pepper, as these help to give the potato scones some flavour.

POTATO SCONES (Makes six pieces)

You will need:

  • 225g mashed potatoes
  • 100g plain flour
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • Salt and Pepper to season

Make It!

  1. Add the flour and melted butter to the mashed potatoes, and mix until a stiff dough is formed.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll until about quarter of an inch thick.
  3. Cut the dough into six (slightly uneven if you’re anything like me) triangles. Prick these all over with a fork, before cooking them on a griddle or in a heavy pan, which has been lightly greased with oil or butter.
  4. The scones are ready when they are golden brown, and have formed small black blisters on each side.
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Leek and Potato Soup with Soda Bread

London, I love you, but Christ you’re bad for my liver. And my wallet. And, judging from the way I felt when I woke up on Sunday morning after raucously celebrating my best friend’s 30th birthday, stomach lining. I paid London a flying visit this weekend, and left it with possibly one of the worst hangovers I’ve had this year. A hangover which was not helped by having to sit on a freezing cold Rail Replacement Bus on the way back to Liverpool. I spent four hours last Sunday cursing Virgin Trains, the person who invented red booze, the person who invented air conditioning and everyone inbetween.

When I finally managed to wake up from my golden slumbers on Bank Holiday Monday, my body was craving only one thing. And it sure as hell wasn’t a trip to the gym. It required comfort and warmth with a side of pork products. This was a situation which called for soup and soda bread.

Leek and Potato soup is one of those economical recipes that I’m very fond of making when it’s a week before payday, I’m skint and there’s nothing in my fridge apart from half a bottle of (flat) diet coke and a few rotting vegetables. Simple and comforting with a wonderfully velvet texture, it also has the added bonus of making you feel all virtuous when you’ve spent an entire weekend pickling yourself in gin. And it tastes even better if you’ve decide to fry up some bacon and crumble that over the top of it. The crisp shards of pork shatter pleasingly underneath your teeth and add a nice contrast to the sleekness of the soup.

Because no soup is complete without something to dunk into it, I decided to make my own soda bread to mop up the excess. I’d never made soda bread before, and was slightly worried that it wouldn’t live up to the various versions I’d tossed down my gullet during numerous St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.  Whilst I make no claims to this version being 100% authentically Irish – I can confirm that it was damn tasty. So tasty in fact that I found myself almost eating an entire loaf in one sitting. But then again, I never have been one for moderation.

Soup, bread, bacon. A holy Trinity of delights. This is the kind of meal your soul thanks you for. And your belly probably won’t complain about it either.

LEEK AND POTATO SOUP WITH SODA BREAD

Soda Bread recipe adapted from BBC Good Food

For the soup:

  •     3 large leeks, white and light green parts only
  •     1 onion, diced
  •     2 tablespoons olive oil
  •     2 tablespoons butter
  •     4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  •     6 medium potatoes, cubed
  •     2 pints chicken stock
  •     Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  •     Sour cream, for serving (optional)

For the soda bread

  •  250g plain white flour
  •  250g plain wholemeal flour
  • 100g porridge oats
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 25g butter, cut in pieces
  • 500ml buttermilk

Make It!

  1. First, make your bread.  Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6 and dust a baking sheet with flour. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then rub in the butter. Pour in the buttermilk and mix it in quickly with a table knife, then bring the dough together very lightly with your fingertips (handle it very, very gently). Now shape it into a flat, round loaf. This dough is incredibly sticky, so be careful when you’re handling it. And be sure to have a wet cloth handy, as it also manages to get everywhere.
  2. Put the loaf on the baking sheet and score a deep cross in the top. (Traditionally, this lets the fairies out, but it also helps the bread to cook through.) Bake for 30-35 minutes until the bread is brown and crusty, and bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. If it isn’t ready after this time, turn it upside down on the baking sheet and bake until cooked. Transfer to a wire rack, cover with a clean tea towel (this keeps the crust nice and soft) and leave to cool.
  3. Now you’ve made your bread, it’s time for the soup. Heat the oil and butter in a large pan and add the onions, garlic, potatoes and leeks. Cook for 3-4 minutes until they begin to soften and turn brown.
  4.  Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Season well and simmer for around half an hour or so, until vegetables are tender.
  5.  Whizz the soup with a hand blender or in a blender until it turns smooth – don’t overdo this, otherwise the starch in the potatoes will turn your soup into glue. Season to taste with salt, pepper and sour cream. If you’re feeling fancy, you can also cook up some bacon and crumble this over the top of the soup. Serve with big fresh hunks of the soda bread which have been smothered in butter.
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