What do you think of first when someone mentions Wales? Rugby? Sheep? No, no, no, Leeks!
Leeks are the national emblem of Wales and have been traced back for over 700 years. During Elizabethan times, Shakespeare refers to the custom of wearing a leek as an ancient tradition and his character Henry V tells Fluellen that he is wearing a leek “for I am Welsh, you know, good countryman.”
According to English poet Micheal Drayton, the legend or myth tells how St David the patron saint of Wales, ordered his solders to wear leeks on their helmets in a battle against the Saxon invaders of Britain. The battle itself is also said to have taken place in a field full of leeks.
A great tale for sure but the Welsh association with leeks probably predates St David by hundreds if not possibly thousands of years, to an age where people worshipped Mother Nature and all her wonderful bounty. Pre-Christianity, Druids where the priests, doctors, poets, and teachers for their community. In these times the leeks reputation as a medicine to cure a variety of illnesses would have been revered and shared by these druids.
It was highly regarded as a cure for the common cold, possibly alleviating the pains of childbirth and was a tasty healthy ingredient in Cawl, a traditional Welsh soup.
Today we are going to use our seasonal leek lemon and samphire kraut in a recipe for this traditional soup and give it a TFS twist!
Cawl soup is a hearty stew traditionally made of meat and vegetables with many family recipes varying from Welsh town to town. We are going to be making a plant-based version but feel free to add in your own ingredients as you wish.
This recipe is enough for 6 hearty portions of soup.
1 onion – roughly chopped
6 medium potatoes – chopped into quarters
3 carrots – chopped
2 leeks – washed and sliced
1 bunch of fresh parsley
1 Jar TFS Leek and Lemon Kraut
Salt and pepper to taste
- Place all the vegetables in a deep stock pot and cover with freshly made vegetable stock, bring to the boil and simmer until cooked. Season with Salt and Pepper.
- Add the shredded leeks and chopped parsley once everything is cooked and ensure they are mixed through the soup. This soup can be left chunky or use a blending stick to create a smooth soup.
- Place a dollop of leek and lemon kraut on the top before serving and enjoy!
- Goes great with a slice of crusty bread and butter also.