Read our St David’s Day special blog on family, women, food, and growing up in Wales by Nicola, our resident Welshie. Wishing all our lovely Welsh friends a very Happy St David’s Day!
Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus!
It’s my favourite day of the year, when I get to celebrate my Welshness with gusto; usually in the form of good, wholesome, warming foods. Welsh cakes, bara brith, good Welsh cawl, and the world’s best leek and potato soup. My mum’s recipe, which was handed down from her mother and from her grandmother before that, is a firm favourite in our family, and we make it by the vat load every year at the beginning of March. It’s changed a little over the years, but it still holds very special memories for me whenever I eat it.
The Women Who Shaped Me
There’s something really satisfying about this simple soup. It’s tasty, warming, and feels really wholesome and nourishing. More than that, we see it as a way of celebrating the women in our family. Growing up, I was surrounded by strong, capable women. My mum, aunt, grandmother, and great-grandmother inspired me every day to be independent and to give everything. Failure was met with love and support, and an encouraging “dal ati, ciw”; a gentle reminder to be kind to myself when things went wrong, pick myself up and try again. So St. David’s Day has become, for me, a day to remember my Welsh upbringing, and the women who shaped me.
Our family soup
4 leeks, finely sliced (discard the dark green ends)
3 large potatoes, chopped into 2cm cubes
½ head broccoli, chopped
1 litre good vegetable stock
a few cubes of cheese- we use stilton, but any good, semi hard cheese will do
2 tablespoons thick cream
handful of fresh chives, finely chopped
- Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pan and add the leeks and potatoes, stirring well to coat. Cover with a tight fitting lid and turn the heat right down. Leave to sweat for around 10 minutes.
- Add the stock, half the chives and broccoli, and leave to simmer until the vegetables are tender, around 15 minutes.
- Blitz up the soup until smooth, then add in the cheese and cream, stirring until melted and combined. Season to taste
- Serve with a sprinkling of the remaining chives to garnish, with a warm, buttered crusty roll.