The Canny Cook: Potato and lettuce soup recipe

This is an effortlessly delicious recipe and a clever way to use up any lettuce leaves lingering in the salad drawer.

Eleanor maidment

Potatoes, bread, bananas, salad leaves and milk are among the most wasted foods in our kitchens. The first way to stop this is to ensure they’re stored properly – for instance, potatoes should be kept in a cool dark spot, lettuce in your fridge’s crisper drawer and bananas should be removed from packaging and kept in a cool spot away from other fruit. Then it’s all about how best to use things before they spoil. Bread is easy to pop in the freezer (sliced, or I tear it into bitesize pieces ready to make croutons for salads and soups). I’ve spotted tricks like peeling and chopping bananas to freeze for future banana breads, turning potatoes into bubble and squeak cakes (also to be frozen) or whizzing salad leaves into pesto. When time doesn’t allow for this, there are some brilliant initiatives like the Olio app (Olioex.com), where you can advertise leftover food to share with your community.

Since I started writing this column, we’ve received lots of delicious, low-cost recipe ideas from readers. I came across a fantastically simple soup sent in by B Wilson, which makes stars of humble potatoes and lettuce leaves. It’s uncomplicated and comforting, and works equally well eaten hot or chilled.

A bottle of champagne is on its way to you!

Potato and lettuce soup recipe

canny cook potato and lettuce soup
Holly Exley

METHOD

  1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and a knob of butter in a pan over a medium heat. Roughly chop the spring onions (or 1 small onion) and add to the pan with a pinch of salt. Sweat gently for a few minutes.
  2. Dice the potatoes (no need to peel them) and add to the pan, cooking for 2 minutes. Stir in the cumin and cook for a minute more.
  3. Add 500ml chicken or vegetable stock and simmer for 6-8 minutes or until the potato is completely tender. Tip: You can use leftover roast potatoes instead.
  4. Shred the lettuce leaves and add to the pan, simmering for 2-3 minutes until wilted. Take off the heat and cool for 5 minutes before blending with a grind of black pepper. You can add a splash of milk or cream too.

SERVE With croutons or crusty rolls.

NOTE This cost assumes you already have some basic store-cupboard ingredients.

*Prices taken from Sainsbury’s and correct at time of going to press

Do you have a great recipe for eating well and cutting food bills? Email editor@you.co.uk. If we print it here, we’ll send you a bottle of champagne.