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Food From the Farm: December – Leeks


Monday 16th December 2019

December – Leeks

Leek, Sage and Butterbean Soup

I shall let you into a secret, I have never made soup before but this recipe is both easy and quick! As well as this, it is most gratifying to cook with an array of seasonal produce; leeks, parsnips and onions are all readily available at this time of the year and the use of cloves and sage gives the soup a slightly festive feel!

This recipe comes from Sarah Raven’s book, Food For Friends & Family.


SERVES 8 as a starter and 6 for lunch


3 tbsp. olive oil

1 large onion, roughly chopped

3 leeks, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 large parsnip, peeled and roughly chopped

3 sprigs of sage (about 30 leaves), half roughly chopped and half left whole

1.5 litres of vegetable stock

1 x 400g tin of butterbeans

1 tsp ground cloves

 To serve

150g bacon cut into small chunks

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Black pepper



  1.  Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based pan and add the onion, leeks, garlic, parsnip and chopped sage leaves. Cover and allow to sweat over a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the stock, butterbeans and ground cloves, then simmer gently for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Take off the heat and allow to cool a little to bring out the flavours.
  4. Fry the remaining whole sage leaves and bacon in a little olive oil until crisp.
  5. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and scatter the sage, bacon and plenty of grated Parmesan over the top, along with some ground black pepper if desired.


NEXT TIME…. The recipe says to use 1 tsp of ground cloves, but I personally found this a little too over-whelming and so next time will try just ½ or maybe ¼ of a tsp instead.


OTHER LEEK IDEAS: I have come across a Delia Smith recipe for ‘Turkey Flan with Leeks and Cheese’ from the book, Delia Smith’s Christmas. It sounds tasty and a good way to use up some Christmas leftovers!


Sarah Huelin – Community Engagement and Farm Trainee



Supported by Exxonmobil Fawley

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