Thursday, 1 November 2012

Hi, are you cold after a long walk and a muse at a cemetery?
I am...Although, I've lived far away from homeland for several years, every year, traditionally, I go to the cemetery nearby to put a candle on a group grave, or ideally on a grave that's been long long forgotten and neglected. There is lots of beautiful cemeteries in London. Those on which celebrities are buried, those with Egyptian alleys and the local, smaller, more anonymous... and those I like the most... They're full of family histories and where gravestones often reflect the lives of their owners. The narrow lanes between the tombstones, century-old trees and their branches displacing gravestones from the ground and benches where you can rest for a while. I was enchanted as usual by the most beautiful grave of a little girl and the old man, whose dog is still standing at his feet.

I light a candle in the cemetery chapel for those who have gone, I have a moment for reflection... I remember!
It's freezing and I'm coming back home to enjoy a bowl of hot potato and leek soup with mustard toasts. There is nothing better to warm the soul ;) I warm my homemade broth and throw a few potatoes and leeks. I'm warming up the oven to bake few thin slices of bacon and baguettes. Then just to quickly blend my soup and... I'm warming up in this cold afternoon of All Saints...

Potato and Leek Soup with mustard toasts
(Inspired by BBC Good Food)

50g butter
10 rashers streaky bacon , chopped
5 large leeks sliced
2 large potatoes, cubed
1.2l vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
300ml milk
handful chopped parsley

For toasts:
1 long thin baguette
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

Melt the butter in a large pan, add the bacon and fry it until it is just starting to colour. Add the leeks and potatoes, then stir well until they are glistening.
Add the stock and bay leaves, season and bring to the boil. Partly cover and simmer for 15 mins, until everything is cooked. Fish out the bay leaves, then purée the soup in batches in a food processor or blender. Return to the pan and stir in the milk. Reheat gently and season to taste. Add more stock or water if the soup seems too thick (this will depend on the size of your potatoes). Sprinkle with parsley to serve.
Make the toasts: heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Cut the baguette into thin diagonal slices. Mix the oil and mustard together, then brush over both sides of the bread. Spread them on a large baking sheet and bake for 10 mins. Serve with the soup for dipping. They can be baked earlier in the day and served cold or warmed through in the oven.

Have a lovely and calm evening!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds a very nostalgic afternoon walking in the cemetery... Like your writing and the way you describe your scenery, the pictures you have added to it. It made me almost emotional. Would love to do your soup, but would it fit in the Ducan diet? Wishing you well as


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