16 Feb 2017

Instant Pot Leek and Potato Soup

Leek and Potato Soup
A delicious bowl of comforting home made soup with a thick slab of bread and butter takes some beating. Leek and potato soup is quick and simple to make and any that isn't eaten can be frozen in a strong freezer bag.

I made mine in the Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker) and once the soup had cooled down I whizzed it in the blender.  I purchased the pressure cooker just before last Christmas and as with all gadgets it's a bit of a learning curve, but so far so good!

Making soup in a pressure cooker is slightly different to using a saucepan because you use less liquid but I've included both methods below:

Ingredients for Pot Method:
  • 4 large leeks
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 50g butter
  • 850ml vegetable stock
  • 275ml semi-skimmed milk
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • Double cream (to serve - optional)

Trim the leeks, cut them in half lengthways and slice. Wash well and drain. Add the butter to the stainless steel inner bowl, set to Saute and adjust to low. When the butter has melted add the leeks and potatoes. Stir well to coat in the butter and season.

Add 850ml vegetable stock to the Instant Pot bowl. Set to Soup and adjust the time to 10 minutes. At the end of cooking use NPR (natural pressure release)

Pour the milk into the bowl and stir to combine. Whiz with a stick blender until smooth. Check the seasoning. Add a swirl of cream to serve.

Ingredients for Conventional Method:
  • 4 large leeks
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 50g butter
  • 850ml vegetable stock
  • 275ml semi-skimmed milk
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • Double cream (to serve - optional)

Trim the leeks cut them in half length ways and slice finely, Wash well and drain. Take a large thick base saucepan and melt the butter on a low heat, now add the leeks and potatoes, stir well  to get a good coating of butter. Season, then cover the pan with a lid. Place onto a very low heat for about 15 minutes.

Now add the stock and milk, bring to a simmer over a medium heat, cover and simmer the soup very gently for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

Leave the soup to cool and either place into a blender or use a stick blender and whiz until smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan and reheat gently, check the seasoning. Add a swirl of cream to serve.

You may also like:
Celery, Leek and Stilton Soup
Carrot and Leek Soup

10 Feb 2017

Epicurean Chopping Board - Review

Epicurean Chopping Board

I own quite a collection of chopping boards, but hadn't come across these Epicurean cutting boards until I was asked if I would like to review the 14.5" x 11.25" board in nutmeg.

These everyday boards are made from non-porous wood fibre and are surprising light weight which is a bonus especially as I store mine in the cupboard.

Foods that stain are problematic with chopping boards but these are stain resistant.

I especially like the fact they can be fully immersed in water and washed by hand, or better still will happily fit in the dishwasher.

The board is lightweight and I found it moved around the work surface whilst chopping,  a quick and easy way to prevent this is to place a damp cloth/paper kitchen towel or silicone mat under the board. However, Epicurean do have boards in their range with rubber feet.
  • Lightweight
  • Everyday board
  • Kinder to knives
  • Chopping only leaves light cut marks on the board
  • No staining (I cut peppers to test)
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Heat resistant to 170ºC
  • Can be used as a trivet
  • Available in a range of sizes
  • Colours: Slate, Natural and Nutmeg
Range of sizes: 8"x 6"  -  11.5"x 9"  -  14.5"x 11.25"  -   17.5"x 13"
Price: £33.00 (14.5" x 11.25")
Stockist: Borough Kitchen

Please Note: The photograph at the top of this post is the closest representation of colour (this is due to changing lighting conditions throughout the day when the photographs were taken).

Disclaimer: We received the product for review.

1 Feb 2017

Tear and Share Milk Bread

Milk Tear and Share Bread

I love a 'bit of nostalgia', and milk bread baked in a cylindrical ribbed tin brings back memories of my childhood and hopefully my other reader remembers this wonderful soft and tasty loaf of bread too! I can't recall anything as fancy as sharing bread though.

I made this last week to go with our dinner but unfortunately it never made it to the table because I was too late making it. The chia seeds decorating the top of the bread were an impulse purchase from Aldi, I'm unsure they brought anything to the party but they can go into my next seeded loaf of bread!

As usual I made mine in the Thermomix, simply because it has to work for me, but it will work just as well using a stand mixer with the dough attachment.

A loaf of tear and share milk bread

I've included conventional instructions below.......

Thermomix Instructions in Italics

You will need: 7"/18cm round springform tin base lined and greased

250g strong white bread flour
1 tsp easy blend yeast
1/2 tsp salt
15g butter
150ml warm milk or 150g of cold milk (if using a Thermomix)

Put the flour into the bowl of the mixer and using the appropriate attachment rub in the butter.

Add the yeast and salt to the bowl, it's always best to place them on opposite sides of the bowl.

Fit the dough hook and pour in 150ml of warm milk, knead for 5 minutes until the dough is elastic.

Pour 150g milk into the jug, add the yeast and set to 1 minute/37ºC/Speed 2, then to ensure the yeast is mixed in thoroughly I tend to set for another 1 minute/37ºC/Speed 2 reverse.
Now add the flour, salt and butter. Set to 2 minutes/Knead Function.

Remove the dough and place into a greased bowl, cover with cling wrap and prove for an hour or so until doubled in size.

Prove the dough in the TM jug, leave until double in size about 1 hour.

Remove the dough from the bowl, return to the stand mixing bowl and using the dough hook knead for a minute to knock out the air.

Remove the dough from the TM jug and knock out the air.

Cut the dough into 10 even size pieces and shape into balls. Place 7 of the balls evenly around the sides of the springform tin, now place the remaining three balls in the middle. Cover with greased clingfilm and leave to prove until double in size, approximately 30-45 minutes. Brush with milk and sprinkle over sesame and chia seeds.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200ºC. Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool.

You may also like:
Tear and Share Granary Bread Rolls (with a step by step guide)
Seeded Bread Rolls