South African potato and leek soup


The days are shortening; the wind is slowing; the chill is creeping; and the rain is threatening.  Most evenings nowadays seem like perfect evenings for earthy soups, my favorite fuzzy blue blanket draped around me like a cape, the couch, work avoidance, and a TV series marathon instead.

Last year I discovered leeks in my weekly bag of Harvest of Hope veggies, an amazing and empowering initiative driven by women in the Cape Flats who learn to grow and harvest veggies to feed their families and bring beautiful, seasonal, organic, local veggies to our doorsteps.  At first I found leeks to be somewhat flat, leafy, and seemingly unappetizing but as the bushels piled up in my fridge, my curiosity built as well, so I started adding small amounts to my dishes and was pleasantly surprised. They then became one of my favorite accents in stirfrys, eggs, pastas, and soups…

I had been yearning for my leeks all summer and finally, last week, I saw a gigantic bushel at the store and my heart warmed my chilly bones!  I immediately knew exactly what I would make and stocked up on all the ingredients.

South African potato and leek soup (serves 4)

Ingredients 

  • 2 tbl butter
  • 1 onion peeled and quartered
  • 1 heaped tsp garlic
  • 1 bushel leeks chopped
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 300g butternut peeled and cubed (the special South African flare)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • ground salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Melt the butter in a pan and saute the garlic and onions until lightly browned
  2. Add the leeks, white pepper, paprika, salt and some ground pepper and saute until softened and fragrant for about 5 minutes
  3. Add the potatoes, butternut, chicken broth and wine
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 30 minutes
  5. When the potatoes and butternut have softened, mash up the ingredients and mix in the milk
  6. Blend the soup in a blender and serve with freshly ground pepper and toasted cheesy bread
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Cheesy savory breakfast potatoes with eggs


My favorite meal of the day is breakfast, which is synonymous for eggs, either in a fry up full of veggies or simply sunny side up, sometimes with cheese, sometimes with beans if I’m craving a taste of England, but always served with some sort of carb.  A true breakfast, in my sense of the word, only happens during the weekend, because I am too lazy and too rushed in the morning to even contemplate cooking breakfast during the week.

The other day I decided to wake my Ty up with breakfast in bed with a fried egg sunny side up served with cheesy savory breakfast potatoes.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 tbl oil
  • 1 chopped onion (or a few stalks of spring onions)
  • 1 heaped tsp garlic
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 cup cheese of your liking
  • 4 eggs
  • fresh rocket
  • salt & pepper

Directions

  1. In a pan, add 2 tbl oil and sautee the garlic and onions until soft and lightly browned
  2. While the garlic and onions are cooking, thinly slice up the potatoes, put them in a bowl, add a drop of water, and microwave for 2 minutes until parcooked
  3. Once the garlic and onions are cooked, add the potatoes to the pan and toss with salt, pepper, paprika, and chili flakes, cover, and let cook on low heat for about 5 minutes
  4. Transfer the potatoes to an oven friendly baking dish, generously sprinkle with grated cheese, and grill in the oven on high until the cheese is fully melted, bubbly, and starting to brown a bit
  5. while the cheese is melting, in the pan you used to cook your potatoes, cook your eggs any way your heart desires with some salt and pepper
  6. when the eggs are finished cooking, pull out the potatoes and serve together with a garnish of rocket