A gorgeous soup from Rachel Allen.

Ingredients

  • 25 g (1oz) butter
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 150 g (5oz) chopped onions
  • 250 g (9oz) potato, peeled and cut into 1cm (½in) cubes
  • salt and a good twist of freshly ground black pepper
  • 800 ml (1 pint 9fl oz) hot light chicken or vegetable stock (don't add it all, save some to check consistency when blending)
  • 0.25 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 100 ml (3½fl oz) milk
  • 100 ml (3½fl oz) double cream
  • 1–2 tbsp kale and hazelnut pesto
  • for the pesto
  • 60 g (2½ oz) hazelnuts
  • 100 g (3½ oz) kale, curly kale or cavolo nero without stalks, roughly chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic, peeled and finely crushed or grated
  • 30 g (1¼ oz) finely grated hard cheese, such as mature coolea or parmesan
  • 200 ml (7fl oz) extra virgin olive oil plus 50ml (2fl oz) to cover the pesto in a jar if storing
  • small pinch of salt (optional)

Method

  1. Put a saucepan on a medium heat, add the butter and allow to melt and foam. Tip in the garlic, onion and potato, stir to combine and season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to low and cover the vegetables with a leftover butter wrapper, if you have one (or some greaseproof paper). Cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
  2. Add most of the hot stock and bring to the boil, then season again with salt, pepper and the nutmeg, turn the heat up high and cook until the potatoes are completely tender.
  3. Transfer to a blender and whiz until the soup is velvety – at least 2–3 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, rinse out the saucepan and return the soup to it when blended, through a sieve if you wish. Add the milk and cream, adjust the seasoning and add more stock if necessary. It should be thick but not gloopy. Serve in warm bowls with a drizzle of kale and hazelnut pesto. Enjoy.
  5. For the Kale and Hazelnut Pesto:
  6. Put the kale or cavolo nero in a food processor and whiz for a few minutes until quite finely chopped (almost as fine as chopped herbs). Add the garlic, the peeled and roasted hazelnuts and the cheese and whiz until fine. Add the 200ml (7fl oz) olive oil, then taste and add a small pinch of salt if necessary.