This is a very simple (and very cheap) Basque recipe. This is its vegetarian version, though it is even better is you add salt cod to it (not easy to get it in the UK)
- 5 leeks (in thick slices)
- three potatoes (in medium size chunks)
- 3 carrots (in thick slices)
- half an onion (chopped thinly)
- 750 l water
- a pinch of sweet paprika
- olive oil (2 tablespoons)
Heat the olive oil in a pan. Fry the onion (low heat) for 5 minutes until it is translucent. Then increase the heat to medium and add the leeks. Fry for another 7 minutes. Add the carrots and potatoes and continue frying it all for 8 more minutes. Add the salt, paprika and then the water and let it all simmer for 25 minutes (do not stir it or you will break the potatoes).
Do not be tempted to add stock as the whole point of this is that you taste the leeks. This is actually something good for the children to learn: a tomato soup should taste of tomatoes, a leek soup of leeks, a potato soup of potatoes, not of chicken or any other vegetables…the current obsession to add stock to everything and make it 'packed full of flavours' is fine for a special meal at a restaurant but absurd at home. Keep the flavours clean and they'll learn to recognise what they eat.