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Rosemary has all sorts of uses round the house and kitchen. It cleans and disinfects worktops, dyes your hair, scents rooms, protects from cold and is often used as a marinade or rub for lamb, in herb oils and vinegars.
But in my mind, there is no better marriage than rosemary and potatoes. Roast potatoes with rosemary are a revelation, but the herb really comes to life in a simple potato and leek soup, adding depth, warmth and sophistication to these humble ingredients. Try it when it is cold, wet and miserably gray outside and see if I'm not right….
Clean and chop two or three leeks (white and green parts), sweat in a little butter until soft but not colored. Add two or three sprigs of rosemary and a pinch of dried chili and turn over in the butter. Now add three peeled, chopped potatoes and a liter of light stock (chicken or vegetable is fine). Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer until the potato is tender. Fish out what is left of the rosemary and discard. Blend the soup until smooth and adjust the seasoning. Serve with more chopped rosemary, toasted hazelnuts and chili oil drizzled over.