Diet Leek and Potato Soup Recipe – comfort food from my childhood:
Every weekend that I am in London I wander over to the Farmers’ Market at Oval. My first stop is always the same. I go to the first farm stall to buy chicken carcasses – 4 for a pound. I boil them up for a couple of hours with a bay leaf, onion and carrot to make stock or, as it seems to have become known these days ‘bone broth’. The end result is a gelatinous mixture which I use in a whole range of dishes. I always make soup – something I find particularly helpful if I am trying to lose weight. Leek and potato soup is a winter favourite for me, probably because my father used to make it, using the carcass from our Sunday roast chicken when he couldn’t buy tomatoes cheaply enough to make what he called ‘minestrone’ but which I think was probably closer to stone soup (that soup which uses up everything left over in the fridge) than he’d have admitted.
Leek and potato soup is very simple to make and there are a number of easy variations. You can add milk and/or cream to make a richer soup. And, you can serve it blended or, as I have done here, just cook it for long enough to let the potato break down a bit. To keep the calories down I’ve used more leek and less potato – and there’s no added dairy, just a dollop of low-calorie creme fraiche at the end. For that reason it is easy to make a vegan version of this – it is naturally vegetarian if you use vegetable stock. You can also make a posher version by straining and clarifying the stock, using only the white part of the leeks and adding cream before blending. Served cold, you may see it by the name of Vichysoisse. And of course, if you want to make a more substantial version and you are not vegetarian, you can add some chicken.
But, I prefer this rustic version. On a non-fast day, there’s nothing better than a bowlful of soup with a crusty roll and fresh butter. And, on fast days, I just indulge in a pretty garnish of creme fraiche, a good grind of black pepper and sometimes chives.
A low-calorie leek and potato soup perfect for the 5:2 diet or any other restricted calorie diet. Can be vegetarian or vegan depending on the stock used
- 1 Medium Potato
- 4 Medium Leeks
- 1 Small Brown Onion
- 750 ml Chicken or Vegetable stock
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Creme Fraiche to serve
- 1 tsp Butter
Peel and cut the potato into 1cm chunks
Trim the leeks, slice in half along the length and clean, then slice into roughly 2cm pieces. Rinse thoroughly
Peel and dice the onion finely
Melt the butter in a large heavy-based pan and add the onion. Soften over a low to medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the leeks and soften for a further 5 minutes
Add the potato and stock. Season with a little salt and pepper
Bring the mixture to simmering point and cook for 25 minutes until the potato is soft and the leeks are cooked through
At this stage, you can blitz the mixture to make a smooth soup if you like.
Adjust the seasoning and serve with a dollop of creme fraiche
The calorie count for this recipe is around 120 calories per portion without the creme fraiche. But, it’s a filling and delicious winter soup that won’t leave you feeling hungry by 5 pm in the afternoon and looking for a way to cheat!
If you do try this recipe please let me know how you get on in the comments below. And if you want to save it for later why not pin it!