After my mum passed away, my father eventually offered up her cookbooks, which I hungrily snatched up, eager to see which recipes she had marked, noted, scribbled on or used well… but I should have known better.
Mum was an instinctive cook, and most of her cookbooks (but for a few like her Czech cookbook) were not much marked. I was happy, though, to get my hands on a bound cookbook she had, put together years ago by my Auntie Flissy. When Auntie Flissy passed away, my cousin had her recipe book copied and bound, and it features recipes she liked from (I think!) my father’s late mother (Mum Mum), my Auntie Pam, and Auntie Flissy herself.
Now, granted, I honestly don’t know what some of these recipes are – or what some of these ingredients are! – as they are a mash up of English cooking, Arabic dishes (Auntie Flissy lived in the UAE for many years), British desserts and some non-recipes like this one (in its entirety!):
Chicken Pieces – 200 for 1/2 hour
What that means, I’ve no idea, but I’ve had a great time flicking through the book just the same, and made a plan to try my hand at making a few of them, starting with her Leek, Onion, and Potato Soup, so here we go!
Leek, Onion, & Potato Soup
4 large leeks
2 medium potatoes, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of milk
a knob of butter
2 tablespoons of heavy cream
salt & pepper to taste
Trim off the tops and roots of the leeks and the tough outer leaves. Cut in half lengthwise and rinse of any sand or dirt before slicing finely. In a large, heavy-based saucepan, gently melt the butter then add the leeks, potatoes and onions and stir. Season, then cover and let sweat over a very low heat for about 15 minutes.
Add stock and milk, bring to a simmer, then cover and let simmer gently for 20 minutes until vegetables are soft.
Using an immersion blender (or regular blender), process thoroughly until smooth, then return to the pot, add the cream and heat through. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Can be served chilled (in which case, it’s called Vichyssoise).
I served it with some chopped parsley and crunchy croutons, but you could also add a dash of olive oil or a bit of Parm to top it. Enjoy!