Salmon and leek soup by Allegra McEvedy

Ingredients to serve 6

For the soup

40g butter
150g new potatoes, diced
3 large leeks (about 600g), trimmed, thinly sliced and washed well
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1.5 litres hot fish stock
4 tablespoons crème fraiche
300g piece of salmon, skinned, boned and cut into roughly 1cm dice
1 tablespoon chopped dill
Salt and pepper

For the crab toasts

200g crab meat, mostly white, but a bit of brown is nice too if possible
4 tablespoons crème fraiche
A large pinch of cayenne pepper
A handful of chives, chopped
6 slices of brown bread, toasted
Salt and pepper

Even without the crab, this soup is simple and nourishing for both body and soul: a good lunch dish. However, if you fancy poshing it up a bit, embellish with the crab toasts, and, for the investment of your time (picking your own crab) or your money (getting someone else to do it for you), the dish gets elevated to dinner status. You can do the work in advance, then when you're ready to eat just reheat the soup and drop the salmon in at the end so it's pink and perfect.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium-high heat and before it starts to brown, toss in the potatoes and leeks.

Add the garlic and let everything cook together for about 5-10 minutes, covered, taking care not to let the vegetables colour.

Knock up the crab mix by putting the crab, crème fraiche, cayenne, chive and some seasoning into a bowl and giving it a good mix. Keep it aside, but not in a fridge.

Pour the hot fish stock on to the soup base and turn the heat up to full, leaving the lid off. Simmer fast and reduce, skimming from time to time, for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Turn the heat off, season well, stir in the crème fraiche, then distribute the salmon evenly over the soup and put the lid back on.

Finish the dish by magically turning the bread into toast and then dividing the crab mixture between the slices. By the time you have assembled the toasts and organised hot bowls the salmon will be ready – just stir in the dill before serving.

Taken from 'Bought, Borrowed & Stolen' by Allegra McEvedy (Conran Octopus, £25).

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