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Cheesy potato soup #2

Thick soups sometimes stick to the bottom of the saucepan, so it is best to stand the pan on an wire mesh if you are using a gas cooker.

ingredients

serves 4
750 g (1 1/2 lb) potatoes, cut into even-sized pieces
salt
25 g (1 oz) margarine or butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped (optional)
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 large carrot, diced small
1/4 small swede (weighing about 50 g (2 oz)), diced small
300 ml (1/2 pint) chicken or vegetable stock
150 ml (1/4 pint) milk
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or marjoram
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
freshly ground black pepper
75 g (3 oz) Cheddar cheese, grated
3 tablespoons chopped parsley

method

1. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water to cover for about 15 minutes or until tender.

2. When the potatoes are cooked, leave them to cool slightly in the water, then transfer both potatoes and water to a blender and blend until smooth. (If you do not have a blender, pass them through a sieve.) Return the puree to the rinsed-out pan.

3. Melt the margarine in a large frying-pan, add the onion and garlic, if using, and fry over moderate heat until beginning to soften. Add the remaining vegetables to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until just beginning to colour.

4. Mix the vegetables with the potato puree in the saucepan, then stir in the stock, milk, thyme and celery salt. Add pepper to taste.

5. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are just soft. Stir in the cheese, reserving 2 tablespoons, and simmer for a further 2 - 3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

6. Pour into a warmed soup tureen. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and the remaining cheese and serve at once.

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