Potato and leek soup with parsley and bacon lardons

DSC_0019The other day I was craving my granny’s ”stegt flæsk med persillesovs” (warning: don’t try to say this out loud unless you fancy a serious facial muscle workout). This is a Danish national treasure consisting of pork and potatoes smothered in an indulgent parsley-filled white sauce. Hello comfort food!

The trouble is that nothing, and I mean nothing, compares to my grandmother’s version. I’ve tried to make it myself on several occasions but it’s just not up to scratch. I guess that’s often how it is with family recipes – there’s so much emotion and nostalgia invested in them that any attempt at replication seems a lost cause.

So I decided to take an altogether different approach to my beloved childhood dish. I’ve deconstructed it and made it into a soup. Potatoes, crunchy salty pork, that gorgeous parsley sauce – it’s all in there.

As it happens, my granny is 79 tomorrow. So granny, happy birthday. This one’s for you.

Serves 2:
1 leek
3-4 potatoes, medium size
1 clove of garlic
1 bunch flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
vegetable or chicken stock
a splash of milk
salt and pepper
50 g bacon lardons or pancetta

1. Wash and peel the potatoes and dice them into small cubes. Chop the garlic finely. Slice leek into rings and chop the parsley.

2. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil and fry the leek and garlic over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add potatoes and stock – just enough to cover the veg. Bring to a boil, put a lid on and lower the heat.

3. While the soup is bubbling away, fry the bacon in batches over a high heat. Transfer to kitchen roll to allow it to soak up any excess fat.

4. Prod the potatoes with a fork – if the fork goes through easily, the potatoes are done. Add parsley and blend the soup until smooth. Add more stock if necessary. Take the saucepan off the heat, add a splash of milk, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle bacon on top and serve with bread.

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