What better way to spend a snowy morning than keeping warm in the kitchen. This Claire Aldous recipe for Leek and Potato Soup with a Spinach and Hazelnut Salsa is delicious and is very much a case of the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The soup is tasty, but the addition of the salsa rounds it out with an umami depth of flavour. My friend Heather who sent me the link to the recipe said, “I don’t know who she is (Claire Aldous), but she must eat well if she eats what she publishes.”
2 tablespoons Dunford Grove Extra Virgin Olive Oil
A walnut sized knob of butter
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large leek, halved lengthways and thinly sliced
700g potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
2 teaspoons dried tarragon
1 ½ litres chicken stock
¼ small Savoy cabbage, finely shredded
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan and add the onion, garlic, leeks, potatoes and tarragon along with a teaspoon of sea salt. Cook over a gentle heat, stirring every so often to prevent sticking for about 20 minutes.
Add the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes are just tender.
Add the cabbage and bring to the boil. Simmer for a few minutes until the cabbage crunch is tender. Adjust seasoning and serve in warmed bowls with a dollop of the Spinach and Hazelnut Salsa.
50g baby spinach leaves
A handful of picked Italian parsley leaves
¼ cup Dunford Grove Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup Dunford Grove Dry Roasted Hazelnuts
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the spinach and picked parsley leaves into a heatproof glass jug and cover with boiling water. Stir and then drain through a sieve. Run under cold water to refresh, then squeeze dry.
Chop the spinach mix finely and set aside. Chop the hazelnuts coarsely and set aside also.
Place the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic and cumin into a blender goblet and season. Run the blender to form a dressing, then add the spinach and hazelnuts. Pulse to combine, making sure you don’t overdo it. You’re aiming for a chunky salsa, not a pesto.