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Herb-Flecked Leek & Potato Soup

I suspect I have a split-personality. While I'm the world's best declutterer - 'if in doubt then throw it out' is my personal motto - I simply can't do the same with leftover ingredients. I regard every item in my refrigerator as a delicious dish just waiting to happen, and make it my personal mission to ensure these abandoned bits 'n pieces reach their full potential. When I was left with a huge bunch of fresh dill recently - I'll never understand why they sell this go-far herb in such large quantities - I immediately set to work to make use of it in the best way I know how. This green-flecked, vibrantly flavored Leek & Potato Soup was the result. It's so easy to make, as you simply puree dill fronds with olive oil to produce a flavorful, herb oil, which is used to fry up the vegetables, and drizzle over as a garnish later. Don't like dill? Replace it with a heaped tablespoon of wholegrain mustard if you must. Soup season is officially open and this is a worthy contender to last the course.

1 full cup fresh dill (it's fine to include the soft stems) 1/3 - 1/2 cup olive oil 2 large leeks OR 2 large onions, chopped* 2 teaspoons crushed garlic 4 - 5 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and chopped 4 - 5 cups parve chicken stock Soya cream (optional) Toasted almonds to garnish (optional) 1: Process the dill and olive oil to make a vibrant, green oil. 2: Heat 3 to 4 tablespoons of herb oil, add the leeks/onions and 1 teaspoon salt, and cook till very well softened. 3: Add the garlic and cook briefly, then add the potatoes and stock, and simmer for around 20 to 25 minutes till potatoes are soft. 4: Blend till smooth adding extra stock if needed - you could add some soya cream here if desired - and serve garnished with a drizzle of extra herb oil and toasted almonds. COOK'S NOTES: The dill flavor really isn't overpowering and adds so much to this simple soup. If you really don't like dill then replace it with a heaped tablespoon of wholegrain mustard when cooking the onions. Leftover dill oil is wonderful drizzled over cheese or toasted bread and can be refrigerated for a week or even frozen. Soup is best with leeks but onions will do fine if that's all you have at home. I buy dill JUST to make this exciting version of this classic soup and you surely will too.

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