Leeks; now there’s a vegetable worth having in your rack. Leek and Potato Soup has always been a favourite of mine and so easy to make. My father used to make the macaroni for us as children and below is his recipe which I have never seen in a recipe book. Leeks are great added to stews, casseroles, vegetable soups and in fact any recipes with vegetables in them. Flavoured like an onion, but not as strong, Leeks add another dimension to food such as curry or fish pie. Why not try adding it to something unusual and see how it makes the dish taste different, or just stick to the good old classic Leek and Potato Bake recipe below?
Buen Apetito

Vichyssoise Leek and Potato Soup

25g butter
2 medium leeks
1 small onion
350g potatoes
600ml chicken stock
150ml single cream
Salt and pepper
Fresh chives or watercress for garnish

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the leeks and onion and cook gently without browning. Add the peeled and chopped potatoes with the stock and seasoning. Bring to boil and simmer very gently for 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then sieve or puree mixture in processor until smooth. Chill completely. To serve, stir in cream and sprinkle with chives or watercress.

Mushroom, Leek and Cheese Macaroni

400g whole wheat macaroni
2 large leeks
60g butter or margarine
2tbsp chopped parsley
250g mushrooms
60g grated cheese
150ml milk
1 large tbsp of flour

Cook macaroni according to the instructions on the packet. Top and tail leeks and remove outer skin. Boil leeks in water until just starting to go soft. Slice mushrooms and fry in fat for 8 mins and then add the parsley. Melt the butter and stir in flour. Slowly pour in the milk stirring all the time. Reheat until sauce thickens (if lumpy stir with whisk). Add more milk if too thick, then add cheese. Drain the macaroni and toss in the leeks, mushrooms and juice. Put in oven-proof dish and cook for 15 to 20 minutes on medium heat. Serve with grated cheese sprinkled on top.

Roast Vegetables

2 large leeks
2 Spanish onions
2 large red peppers
2 medium aubergines
1 clove of garlic
8 bay leaves
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt and pepper
½tsp paprika
½tsp ground coriander
6tbsp olive oil
4 tomatoes

Spread out the prepared vegetables and whole garlic in two large, shallow roasting tins, placing the aubergines and peppers skins side down. Add the bay leaves. Whisk lemon juice with the salt, pepper, paprika and coriander. When the salt is dissolved, whisk in the olive oil. Pour over the vegetables and stir to make sure they are all coated. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes then roast in an oven 240º C for 20 minutes. Cut up tomatoes in half and add to the vegetables after turning them. Roast for a further 5-10 minutes until all the vegetables are tender, then remove the bay leaves and serve.

Cheese, Leek and Potato Bake

700g potatoes
350g leeks
2 onions
175g cheese of your choice
50g butter
300ml milk
Salt and pepper
1 bay leaf

Peel the potatoes and prepare leeks cutting them and the potatoes into slices. Peel and thinly slice 1 onion. Grate the cheese and spread the butter over the base of an oven proof dish. Arrange a layer of potato, onion and leeks over the base of the dish, sprinkle with some of the cheese and season. Continue arranging the slices of leek, and potato, sprinkling each layer with cheese and seasoning. Meanwhile, place the second sliced onion in a pan with the milk and bay leaf and bring to boil then simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the onion and bay leaf then pour the milk over the vegetables and top with remaining cheese. Bake in 180º oven for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the top is brown.

Leek and Bacon Quiche

Pie case (bought or made)
250g leeks (sliced)
Diced bacon
2tbs butter
4 eggs
1 cup of cream
1 cup of grated cheese
1tbsp flour
1 tomato for decoration
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450º F (230º C). Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat and sauté the leeks until tender. Spread leeks evenly over the bottom of the pie crust. Fry bits of bacon or ham in the same frying pan and spread over leeks. In a bowl, toss together the cheese and flour. Spread over the leeks. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and cream. Pour over the cheese layer in the pie crust. Top with the tomato slices and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce heat to 325º F (165º C) and continue baking for 30 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned and a knife inserted in the centre of the quiche comes out clean.