Friday, April 5, 2019


From not one but two recipes in Clare Conner’s Irish Cooking

Sometimes you feel like putting together a meal that is quick to make, doesn’t take a lot of obscure ingredients that you don’t have, and just plain tastes good. I found a couple of recipes in the cookbook Irish Cooking, but neither one was quite right—so what the heck, I went ahead and combined them.

One was Leek and Potato Soup, the other was White Onion Soup, and not surprisingly the recipes overlap. (Funny--when I see "onion soup" I always think of the French version, which is translucent. This one isn't--it's thicker and creamy.) I also fancied up the result by adding coarsely chopped ham, for a bit of color and more flavor. I will admit the idea was inspired by some leeks that I picked up at the market last week: they were the size of baseball bats (well, almost).


Yes, that big thing in the front left is
six inches of a single leek--they were big!
2 oz salted butter
1 lb white onions, thinly sliced
1 leek (white part only), thinly sliced
(all right I confess: I used half onions and half leeks)
1 oz. plain flour
1/2 pound of potatoes, peeled
6 cups chicken stock
Salt and white pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
Oil for frying
1/2 pound cooked ham steak, cut into cubes
A few chives for garnish if you have any


Slice your vegetables. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, then add the onions and leeks and cook slowly over low heat (do not let them brown) for about 30 minutes.

Sprinkle the flour over the leek-onion mixture and blend thoroughly. Gradually add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes (until the liquid thickens some).

Saute the ham pieces in oil in a small skillet.

Taste the soup and add salt and pepper if you want. Puree the liquid (you can use a food processor, but I happened to have an immersion blender that I bought at a yard sale, and it worked well).

Return to the heat. When the soup is hot, spoon or pour into individual bowls, then sprinkle with the ham bits and chives.

(BTW, this can also be served cold in summer. You might want to thin it with more stock in that case.)

Coming in July! Killer in the Carriage House.

Plus there will be a new Museum Mystery next month, once my patient editor and I decide on a name. So far I'm torn between Bring Out Your Dead, What Lies Beneath, and The Lost Letter. And would you have a problem with more than one skeleton on the cover?


  1. You can have as many skeletons as you want.

  2. We like skeletons! Bring them on. But no cat skeletons, please.

  3. Ham, potatoes and leeks are a great mixture for a soup! And, yes, the specimen of leek shown in the photo is gargantuan. As for skeletons, I don’t have a problem of more than one on a cover.