This is an elegant soup which I have adapted from a recipe by Beverley Sutherland Smith from her beautiful book 'A Taste of Class' (1980) which is now out of print. If you can find any of her books anywhere, grab them as she is a brilliant epicurean cook and author.
Note: It is important to use green pears as ripe pears will make the soup too sweet.
For the soup:
60g (2 oz) butter
1 bunch leeks (include a little of the green)
1 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 - 3 (500g) firm green pears
1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock
salt and ground pepper to taste
For garnish (optional):
Pouring cream and chopped fresh chives or fried leeks.
Slice leeks thinly into rings. In a large bowl of water, wash leeks and leave to drain well in a colander or sieve. In a heavy based saucepan, melt the butter. Saute the leeks until they are soft but don’t let them brown. Add the chopped pears and saute for a further few minutes. Add the potato cubes, cover with stock, season then simmer the soup gently until the potatoes are tender (approximately 30 minutes). Blitz soup until smooth and creamy.
To serve: Pour the cream gently over the back of a spoon to form a spiral pattern. Garnish with chives.