Great British Baking Show Alum Flora Shedden Shares a Potato-Leek Soup That 'Isn't Too Heavy'

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Recipes rollout
Recipes rollout

Jen Causey

Former Great British Baking Show star Flora Shedden has eaten potato and leek soup her whole life so she knew it needed to be in her new cookbook Supper. "Potato and leek soup is a classic I grew up with," she says, adding that her "granny" made an excellent version.

Shedden's recipe varies from her childhood soup with the addition of a special ingredient. "I love fennel and try to sneak it in as many things as possible," says the owner of Aran bakery in Dunkfeld, Scotland. "The fennel helps to lighten the soup so it isn't too heavy with the potato."

Before assembling her soup, Shedden tosses the fennel with white onions and leeks and pops them in a 400° oven. "Roasting vegetables for soup is my favorite way to inject flavor as quickly as possible. The potatoes are boiled in the stock and then the roasted vegetables are added once cooked so this adds double the flavor using very simple techniques," she says.

Flora Shedden's Potato, Leek & Fennel Soup

2 medium (14-oz.) fennel bulbs, trimmed and sliced, fronds reserved

1 medium (9-oz.) leek, trimmed and sliced

1 medium (8-oz.) white onion, sliced

2 thyme sprigs

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1¼ tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

4 to 6 cups vegetable stock

1 (9-oz.) russet potato, peeled and chopped

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Toasted walnuts, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Place fennel, leek and onion slices on a large rimmed baking sheet. Remove thyme leaves from sprigs; add leaves to vegetables. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and black pepper; toss to coat.

2. Roast in preheated oven until vegetables are soft and beginning to caramelize, about 25 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, bring 4 cups of the stock to a boil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Add potato; reduce heat to medium low, and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes.

4. Remove vegetables from oven, and transfer to Dutch oven with potato. Remove Dutch oven from heat. Stir in parsley. Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth, about 1 minute. (Alternative: Pour into a blender. Secure lid on blender, and remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over opening.) Process, adding stock as needed, ½ cup at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Serve topped with toasted walnuts, fennel fronds and a few grinds of black pepper.

Serves: 6
Active time: 40 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes

Quick tip! To toast walnuts fast, heat a large, dry skillet over medium high. Spread the nuts in a single layer, and cook, stirring often, until they start to brown and smell fragrant, about 5 minutes.