The soup will be puréed so no need to be obsessive about cutting up the veg**. For a veggie version just omit the chicken cube and the bacon.
**But see Update footnote.
500g (pack weight), Leeks, trimmed, halved lengthways, washed if needed, and sliced across
3 Sweet Spear carrots, sliced
3 rashers Sainsbury’s Butcher’s Choice Sweetcure unsmoked back bacon, fried in a little oil, cooled and chopped into small pieces. Retain the oil.
2 Kallo organic veg cubes, softened among the leeks
1 Knorr chicken cube, grated
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 litre of bean stock, if you have it. If not, boiling water. Bean stock is light on flavour but will contain nutrients from the beans
½ litre boiling water
¼ teaspoon Schwartz black pepper
20g or so of butter
500g Aunt Bessie’s Frozen Mash**
600g cooked soya beans (or three cans rinsed and drained), added AFTER the soup is puréed
More Kallo veg or Knorr chicken cubes if needed to adjust the flavour (or use Marigold or Knorr Touch of Taste as in previous recipes.*** Do that before you add
Maldon Sea Salt Flakes and Schwartz black pepper to adjust the seasoning
**I had planned to use King Edwards, but I’m not having a good day – this is easier. Feel free to use them if you wish, thinly sliced.
*** I added a good teaspoon of Marigold and 2 more Kallo veg cubes. No salt or pepper as yet – tastes about right.
Tip the oil in which the bacon was fried into your pot (I used my 4-litre pot, as usual), and add the butter (unless you had a heavy hand with the oil). Melt over a low heat. My oil had been used three times to fry bacon, so was well-flavoured, but even if it had just been used once it would have been better than fresh out of the bottle in terms of flavour. When the butter’s melted, add the leeks and sweat gently until soft – it looks like a lot of leeks, but they’ll collapse as they soften.
Once soft, tuck the Kallo cubes among the leeks and grate over the chicken cube. After a couple of minutes stir the cubes into the leeks and add the stock and water (or all water), and everything else down to and including ¼ teaspoon Schwartz black pepper. Stir well, bring back to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the carrots are soft, then add the potatoes. If you remember, defrost them first, if not it’ll take longer. In either case, heat them, stirring frequently, until dissolved into the soup (add a few pieces at a time – they’ll dissolve faster and you can gauge the thickness of the soup better, too.
When that’s done, allow the soup to cool to a safe temperature then blitz with a stick or goblet blender until smooth. If too thick, adjust with a little stock.
Then add the beans and reheat gently.
Adjust the flavour and the seasoning, to taste, let any additions cook out for 10 minutes or so, then allow to cool fully.
Refrigerate overnight to allow the flavours to snuggle up and get to know each other, and you’re done.
Note:- I really don’t recommend puréeing any pulses other than split red lentils – the skins are blender-proof. In fact the soya beans are here simply for their protein content, which I need. If you don’t you could use a different bean, or even peas, or omit them altogether.
Update:- After a disastrous fall I had to abandon plans to purée the soup, as well as giving up on the fried sage leaves.