Falkirk Wheel, Panoramic view.

Falkirk Wheel, Panoramic view.
Image by Cameron Lyall, GNU license Wikimedia

27 June 2011

Cultural Immersion Lesson #1

Before coming to Scotland, I was very ignorant of their culture. I wasn’t naïve enough to think that all Scots wore kilts, but I did think they’d bash my head in for supporting the wrong football club or refuse to talk to me because I killed Jesus. Surely these have all been dispelled as well, but I was surprised to find their affinity for leek and potato soup.

(Photo from Myrecipes.com; actual soup rarely looks this appetizing)

It is really amazing: no matter where you go in Scotland—whether it be here in Dundee, Glasgow, or Edinburgh—the soup of the day is always leek and potato. It doesn’t matter what day of the week it is or what restaurant one is eating at, there is a 98%* chance that leek and potato soup will be served. It will most likely be served with “crusty bread” as well.

I was curious as to why it is served so often so I looked up the recipe.

  • Butter or Margerine -- Two Tablesoons
  • Garlic -- 1 clove
  • Leeks -- 2
  • Potatoes -- 2
  • Brothn-- 2 pints
  • Salt -- no more than 1/4 teaspoon
  • Pepper -- 1/4 teaspoon
  • Milk or Cream 1/2 pint

The method is quite simple as well: melt the butter, add the leeks and potatoes to the broth, and then the milk to thicken. Most of these items are very easily found in a kitchen, and the website even says that the soup keeps well if frozen. So with a little investigation, I was able to answer my own question about the oddity: its cheap and easy. I searched a bunch of other websites and found that it is a traditional Scot dish, which could explain why it is EVERYWHERE.

* at a .01 α confidence level, this statistic is 100 % bollocks.

1 comment:

PickleInk said...

Thanks for the soup recipe. This picture does make it look quite good. I like how you explain or ponder how the soup is related to the culture. Do they grow these vegetables locally I wonder? I think these were traditionally things they grew, but I am showing my own ignorance of Scotland here.