Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Garden kickoff, last of the leeks and cheddar scones

First vegetable patch work
I finally got out into the garden today. Dug the vegetable patches and spread the years worth of kitchen compost. It was composted very nicely. I tipped the whole lot out and removed the good stuff. Threw the uncomposted recent stuff back into the now almost empty bin. Next up I have to rake the ground to a fine tilth and get the first of the seeds planted indoors.

The last of the leeks needed to be lifted before I could get working on the patch. There were quite a lot of them. Topped and tailed them all and made this soup with 700 grammes of them. The rest are in the fridge at the moment.

Leek and Potato soup

700g of leeks - cut up finely and washed
2 onions - chopped finely
900g of potatoes - peeled and shopped small
100g of butter - I got some nice country butter in Tesco
Salt and pepper
1.5 litres of chicken stock - I just used decent cubes, real is of course better


Melt the butter in a large thick bottomed pot. Add all the vegetables and stir to coat them with the butter. Season with plenty of salt and pepper. Leave the mixture on a medium heat for about 15 minutes until the vegetables have all softened. Check it does not burn every few minutes and give it a good stir. I found that the potatoes stuck a bit, but did not burn.
Then add the hot stock and give the whole lot a stir. Cook this for about 40 minutes on a very low heat. Liquidize and stir the milk in. This recipe makes a lot, but it freezes well.

Cheese and herb scones
These have a lovely chewy texture and are yellow in colour from the buttermilk. Like all scones they are very quick and easy to make, so not worth making in bulk for freezing. Just make them up fresh when you need them. Having nice herbs in the garden makes this possible. You won't spend a fortune buying fresh herbs that go off in the bottom of your fridge.


220g of plain flour
Half a teaspoon of baking soda, sieved
Handful of sage chopped finely - I had this in the garden, but dried is ok
200ml of buttermilk
25g of cheddar cheese grated


Mix the flour, baking soda and sage in a bowl. Add the buttermilk a little at a time until you have a dough that you can handle. Should be a bit sticky, but not total gunge. Turn it out onto a floured work surface and shape it into a flat disc about a centimeter thick. Cut it up into triangles, or use a cutter. Use a brush to coat the top surface of each scone in some more butter milk. Dip the scone tops into the grated cheese. Place them on a sheet of grease proof paper on a baking sheet.
Bake at gas mark 8 for about 20 minutes. Hollow when tapped.

These went great with the leek soup and some more of the country butter on them.

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