Saint David’s Day (or Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant in Welsh) is the feast day of Saint David, patron saint of Wales. It is celebrated on the 1st of March to commemorate the death of Saint David in 589, and has been celebrated ever since then. The date was declared a national day of celebration within Wales in the 18th century. St David was renowned as a preacher, founding monasteries and churches in Wales, Cornwall and Brittany.
A great way of celebrating St David’s Day - even if you’re not Welsh - is to make our simple and tasty Leek & Potato soup!
If you make more than you need, never fear as it’s a perfect candidate for going in the freezer to reheat another day.
A soup such as this can be as simple or as complicated as you want. But there is no doubt that even the most basic of recipes ends up with one of the tastiest soups around. Not only is it packed full of flavour, but it is nutritious, quick to make and extremely economical. You can also serve it chunky or smooth!
• 4 leeks, approx 500g (1lb 2oz)
• 1 medium onion, chopped small
• 2 medium potatoes, approx 500g
• 25g (1 oz) butter
• 1 ltr (2 pints) chicken or vegetable stock (or use 2 stock cubes in 1l water)
• 225ml (1/2 pint) milk
• Trim the leeks and throw away the tough outer layer. Slice them in half along their length, chop finely, then wash them in water and drain well, as soil and grit is often present in the outer laters, especially in home grown leeks.
• Peel and chop the potatoes into roughly 2cm (3/4 inch) cubes. Peel and chop the onion finely, too.
• Melt the butter gently in a large saucepan. Stir in the leeks, onions and potatoes on a low heat for ten minutes to get a nice coating of butter over the vegetables.
• Add the stock and milk, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and cooked through. Make sure it doesn’t boil over.
• If opting for a chunky soup, serve now. For a smooth texture, let it cool for five minutes before emptying the saucepan into a food processor and blending to a purée.
• Return the soup to the saucepan and reheat gently, seasoning to taste if required. Serve.
When serving, you could add a tablespoon of double cream or creme fraiche to the centre of each bowl and swirl it round gently with a fork. Freshly chopped chives or parsley sprinkled over the top also add to the presentation.
DID YOU KNOW?
The leek was the favorite vegetable of the Emperor Nero, who consumed it in soup or in oil, believing it beneficial to the quality of his voice. Maybe that’s why the Welsh are such great singers!