Celebrate St David’s Day on March 1st, and keep warm whilst doing it with a delicious and healthy dish made with one of the national emblems of Wales – the Leek.
The reasoning behind why it is a national emblem is a bit blurred...
According to one legend, King Cadwaladr of Gwynedd ordered his soldiers to identify themselves by wearing the vegetable on their helmets in an ancient battle against the Saxons that took place in a leek field.
However, the Elizabethan poet Michael Drayton stated, in contrast, that the tradition was a tribute to Saint David, who ate only leeks when he was fasting.
Whatever the case, the leek has been known to be a symbol of Wales for a long time; Shakespeare, for example, refers to the custom of wearing a leek as an “ancient tradition” in Henry V. In the play, Henry tells the Welsh officer Fluellen that he too is wearing a leek “for I am Welsh, you know, good countryman".
Anyway, back to the soup. This recipe originally started out as potato and leek, but seeing as though we’re trying to cling on to what’s left of healthy eating this new year it is intended to be a low carb dish, so the potato has been substituted for Cauliflower. This certainly doesn’t detract from it though.
Leek Soup Recipe
- 2 heads cauliflower cut into florets
- 6 oz. preservative free pastured pork bacon, diced
- 2 tsp. dried thyme
- 4 quarts chicken stock
- 2 large onions diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 package frozen leeks or 3 raw leeks, sliced
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Heat stock pot to medium high heat. Add bacon and cook while stirring until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and drain on plate.
- Reserve bacon for later.
- Discard all but one tablespoon bacon grease from stock pot.
- Turn heat to low.
- Add onion and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cook until onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and dried thyme to onion.
- Cook for one minute.
- Add chicken stock. Heat on high, stirring occasionally until stock simmers.
- Add cauliflower and cover pot.
- Using high heat, return to a simmer.
- Turn heat to medium low.
- When cauliflower is soft, blend soup in batches in a blender or use and immersion blender to blend soup to a velvety texture.
- Return soup to stock pot if using the blender option.
- Add leeks. Heat over medium until leeks are soft and soup is slightly thickened.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in all but one tablespoon reserved bacon bits.
- Garnish with remaining bacon bits, a sprinkle of pepper and a sprig of fresh thyme if desired.