Leek and celery broth with parsley and dill

I had leeks that needed using up, and an abundance of celery, as well as herbs left over from other recipes. Rather than a hearty soup thickened with potato that would the usual choice for England in January, I wanted a light fresh broth to reflect the clear, crisply cold day.

leek and celery broth with parsley and dill

leek and celery broth with parsley and dill

Makes 3 to 4 servings

3 leeks, sliced

3 sticks of celery, finely chopped

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 litre light vegetable stock

15 g parsley (a small bunch with stalks), finely chopped

a sprig of dill, chopped

a pinch of celery salt

1/2 tsp potato starch, slaked (optional)

plenty of black pepper

a little salt if needed.

To reduce the total cooking time, I microwave steamed the vegetables first. The leeks for 5 minutes, and then the celery and onion for 3 minutes.

Whenever I’m using leeks I pretty much always microwave them, the flavour intensifies beautifully, and you get the lovely silky leek texture without using oil.

While the vegetables are cooking, put the stock, celery salt and parsley in a saucepan over a medium heat. As the vegetables are cooked, tip them and any steaming liquid, into the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for twenty minutes.

Season to taste with salt and black pepper, and add the potato starch if using, stirring well. The potato starch isn’t essential, but it does give the broth a little body.

a little sprig of dill

a little sprig of dill

Add the dill just before serving. I love the flavour of dill, but you really do only need a small amount here, so as not to overpower the soup.

By E.

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