Leek & Sage Soup with Wendsleydale Croutons
I suppose this is a Brits twist on French Onion soup, using mainly leeks with the token onion and loading up a crouton with a sharp Wendsleydale cheese. When I utter the word Wendsleydale it always makes me smile and as I can see my Pop doing a mimic of Wallace & Grommet, Pop loves all cheeses and always has some for supper . P has also become addicted to the English cheeses since our visits to the UK, anyone would think he was the Brit not me.
Leeks are in season in NZ at the moment so it is the right time to use them in as many dishes as possible hence the creation of the soup. I added sage to the soup and also sprinkled sage on the croutons because it felt right for a winter dish that was to have a British twist to it. I think sage is probably the first herb I remember from childhood, and it is in abundance during the autumn and winter months and I am please to say I have a large crop of it in my garden. Sage seems to withstand the windy, salty conditions we have here in Muriwai most of the year.
Ingredients – makes 4
- 1 large leek or 2 small
- 1 small onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- handful of fresh sage leaves
- 1 tblsp butter
- 3 cups beef stock
- salt & black pepper to taste
- 50g Wendsleydale cheese or any of your favourite cheeses
- French bread for croutons
- Grate the cheese.
- Slice 2 large slices of break from the French stick per person about 1 inch thick.
- Thinly slice the leeks & onion.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan and add the leeks, onions, garlic and most of the sage, keep a few leaves for the croutons.
- Cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes until leeks are soft.
- Add beef stock and simmer for a further 30 minutes.
- Divide the soup between 4 bowls and place 2 slices of bread on top of each bowl of soup.
- Sprinkle the cheese and rest of the sage over the croutons and soup.
- Place bowls on a baking tray and place under a grill.
- Grill the cheese until it starts to bubble and melt