Dianne says, “Soup is the quintessential winter, meal in a bowl. Add to this a crusty baguette, crunchy toppings and supper is sorted. Crumbly croutons are to soup what streusel is to a muffin – an irresistible textural topping! As the soup is quite rich, I prefer to serve smaller portions in either cups or mugs. The ingredients are mostly modest yet easily transformed into a deliciously rich and hearty supper. Although the crumble contains bacon bits, this is completely optional, so just omit if you’re following a Meat-free Monday.”
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, peeled and finely diced
3 medium sized leeks, cut into rounds
900g starchy potatoes, peeled and diced
several sprigs thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock , if you’re not doing the vegetarian option
1/3 cup single cream
1 cup full cream milk
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
For the bacon crumble
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 strips smoked, back bacon
1/2 cup, day old ciabatta breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
In a deep saucepan, heat the butter and olive oil. Sauté the shallots and leeks until soft and just starting to colour. Add the potatoes, thyme leaves and oregano. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the bay leaves and stock. Simmer with the lid on for 35 minutes. Check that the potatoes are tender and soft. Remove the bay leaves and transfer to a blender. Blitz in batches until smooth.
Pour the soup back into the saucepan and add the cream, milk and parmesan cheese. Bring back up to a simmer and whisk with a balloon whisk to incorporate the cheese thoroughly.
For bacon crumble, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan. Brown the bacon on both sides until crispy and well coloured. Drain on a paper towel. Chop the bacon into fine pieces. Add the ciabatta crumbs to the pan and fry until golden and crisp. Season the croutons with a little salt and pepper. Add the bacon to the breadcrumbs and stir through the 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese. Set aside to cool and crisp up. Serve the crumble topping alongside the soup.
Michael’s wine recommendations – CLICK HERE
Dianne Bibby is a former fashion designer, turned food enthusiast and avid cook. At 36 she hung up her fashionable hat, tied on her kitchen apron and started on a new culinary journey.
Her kitchen is a creative gathering place where meals are shared with family and friends, celebrating life and nurturing our connectivity. For Dianne food is relational and pivotal to the way in which she expresses love, care and hospitality. Currently she spends most of her time developing recipes and teaching group cooking classes.
Says Dianne, “My food philosophy is relatively uncomplicated with inspiration being drawn from diverse global food trends and seasonal produce. My recipes are not exclusively tied to any particular food preference but rather an exploration of all foods that are vibrant and fresh.”
Dianne hopes that you will be motivated and inspired to try something new, making the time you spend in the kitchen deeply satisfying and rewarding.
She’d love to hear from you – CLICK HERE