One of the items on the basic shopping list I gave to my husband this morning was "olive oil - decent". Normally I have plenty of assorted bottles of the stuff in the pantry - given as gifts or sourced at various foodie markets or the odd vineyard. But as I planned to spend today in both the kitchen and my pj's, taking a leisurely trip down into the Yarra Valley wasn't on the cards. When he asked what would constitute "decent" from the local supermarket, I showed him the dregs of the last bottle of Cobram Estate (purple lable) and expected he'd simply buy another.
He came back with three bottles of CE - one of each flavour - and with a proud flourish, lined them up on the kitchen counter. We conduct a taste test using some Phillippa's organic sourdough to soak up the liquid gold.
We need to use up the sourdough today; what better way than to soak it up with a lovely warming winter veggie soup? Vegetarian food comes to mind not because I'm a staunch non meat eater (although I think I could be without too many dramas) but because I have really been craving veggies lately. I also have several vegetarian/vegan friends (and readers). I decided to use some of the beautiful leeks from our garden to put together a lovely potato and leek soup with big chunks of swiss brown mushrooms to 'beef' it up. It turned out really well - silky smooth with a nice tang courtesy of a bit of lemon juice.
- 500g peeled/chopped potatoes (anything suitable for mashing)
- two leeks, cleaned and white part sliced
- olive oil
- 250g swiss brown mushrooms, chopped into quarters (don't peel!)
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 2/3 cup cream with juice from half a lemon mixed in (or light sour cream or low fat milk for the diet-conscious!)
In a large saucepan, heat some olive oil and saute the leeks until soft. Add the potatoes and stock, bring to the boil then cover with a lid and simmer for about 20 mins until potatoes are cooked; remove from heat. In the meantime, saute the mushrooms in another pan with some olive oil until just softened, set aside. Put the potato mixture into a food processor and blend, or use a stick blender until smooth. Add the cream/sour cream/milk mixture and stir well over a low heat. At this point add your seasonings - personally I only needed to add a little white pepper but no salt, as the lemon juice seems to give it just enough flavour. Serve in bowls with a drizzle of your favourite olive oil (I used CE extra virgin "fresh & fruity" blend) with a generous pile of mushies on top.