Today is the autumn equinox. Once the sun moves south over the equator it's officially autumn, so what better time to get the old soup pan out and start making some autumnal loveliness.
We love soup in our house, and it tastes even better if I make it in my Mum's 1970's soup pan. It's a bit battered and well past its best, but who cares when it has a cheery bright orange lid and holds a massive amount of soup.
Anyhow, here's my recipe.
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
2 medium potatoes, diced
750ml chicken stock or water
salt and pepper
First of all, prepare the leeks. Trim the ends, and remove any hard outer leaves. Then chop the leeks into roughly 2cm discs, put them into a colander and rinse thoroughly to remove any dirt.
Peel and chop the onions and potatoes, then melt the butter in the pan and add the potatoes, onions and leeks, stirring until they've all been coated with the butter. Put the lid on the pan and allow the vegetables to sweat over a low heat for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure they don't stick to the bottom.
Next, add the stock and milk to the pan. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat and simmer very gently for about 30 minutes. Whatever you do, don't have the heat too high or the milk will boil over very quickly. Just a gentle heat will do, and check it occasionally to make sure it's not overheating.
Once the veg is soft it can be liquidised. I like it to be really smooth with no lumps. Reheat gently to serve. Season with salt and pepper.
This is one of our absolute favourite homemade soups and if you want to be posh and serve it at a dinner party you can call it by its Sunday name of vichyssoise (when it's served cold) but we prefer it hot with crusty bread.