I was watching Rick Stein on one of his long weekends in Bordeaux over Christmas. He was gushing about French markets selling huge bunches of herbs and how that didn’t really happen in the UK. But the following week I went into my local greengrocers (Fred Hallam in Beeston, Nottingham) and low and behold they were selling enormous bunches of locally grown parsley just like the Bordeaux market.
I couldn’t resist buying lots of it. I added parsley to everything that week but still had plenty left over. I then remembered this soup recipe where parsley is the main ingredient (which coincidentally is a Rick Stein one). It is one of my all time favourite soups and the perfect lunch for a cold, wet January day when one is trying to be a little more healthy after all that Christmas indulgence.
You do however need a good, cheap parsley supply – it would cost a fortune if you had to make it with those measly 30g bags from the supermarket.
- 2 large leeks or 2 small onions
- A huge bunch of parsley (curly or flat leaf) approximately 200g
- 75g of butter (you can use less if you’re watching your fat content, I use about half this amount and it still has a nice velvety texture)
- 275g of floury potatoes, chopped into small cubes (I don’t bother peeling them)
- 1.2 litres of chicken stock (home-made is best but stock cubes or pots are fine)
- You can add double cream if you like (the original Rick Stein recipe uses 50ml) but I don’t think this is necessary
If using leeks then discard the darker green tops and chop roughly, alternatively roughly chop the onion.
Roughly chop the parsley stalks and leaves, reserving a handful of the bright green leaves for later.
Melt the butter in a large pan, add the parsley and leeks/onion and soften gently for about 5 minutes.
Now add the potatoes and chicken stock then cover and simmer for 20 minutes until the potatoes are soft.
Blitz the whole lot in a food processor along with the handful of uncooked parsley leaves until very smooth.
Return to the pan and season with salt and pepper (and add the double cream if you like).