Friday, October 26, 2007

Leek Soup with Feta, Dill and Paprika

As the weather is starting to get nippy, I'm thinking of warm, homemade soup. Here's a great recipe from Turkish Cooking: Classic traditions, Fresh ingredients, Authentic flavours, Aromatic recipes by Ghillie Basan that I think is absolute delicious.

Creamy leek soup is a popular home-cooked dish in Turkey. Flavoured with dill and topped with crumbled white cheese, this one is warming and satisfying. The saltiness of feta is good in this soup, but you could just as well us Roquefort or Parmesan, both of which are equally salty, and you could substitute croutons for the cheese. Serve with chunks of fresh, crusty bread.

30 ml/2 tbsp olive or sunflower oil
3 leeks, trimmed, roughly chopped and washed
1 onion, chopped
5 ml/1 tsp honey or Rapadura
1 bunch of fresh dill, chopped, with a few fronds reserved for the garnish
300 ml/1/2 pint/1 1/4 cups milk
15 ml/1 tbsp butter
115 g/4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
salt and ground black pepper
paprika, to garnish

serves 3-4

1) Heat the oil in a heavy pan and stir in the chopped leeks and onion. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.

2) Add the sugar and chopped dill, and pour in 600 ml/1 pint/2 1/2 cups water. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.

3) Leave the liquid to cool a little, then process in a blender until smooth.

4) Return the pureed soup to the pan, pour in the milk and stir over a gentle heat until it is hot (don't let it come to the boil).

5) Season with salt and pepper, bearing in mind that the feta is salty. IF using the butter, drop it onto the surface of the soup and let it melt.

6) Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the crumbled feta. Serve immediately, garnished with a little paprika and the dill fronds.

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