Autumn’s leek and potato soup

Autumn Angus has started volunteering with us this year, she has made some lovely soup with ingredients she has been helping grow in the Garden, and has shared her story and recipe with us here.

I grew up with my dad growing veg – potatoes, onions, leeks. I always remember my dad digging and pottering about at the weekend. We had a greenhouse and I remember the smell of tomatoes. We also had a strawberries, raspberries and 2 large apple trees. One eating and one cooking..

It has only been in last 3/4 years when I have been reintroduced to community gardens as a way of helping me in my recovery. I feel very connected in a sensory way. I think it might help me to connect to my dad as he is no longer here. Since the pandemic, there has been very few groups for unemployed so the Ninewells Community garden has been a lifeline for myself and others. It has prevented my mental health from deteriorating due to social isolation.
There is so much to learn. and I love cooking with fresh ingredients when I am able to. Helena recently gave me tomatoes grown that had yet to ripen, she gave them to me to ripen at my window and told me to put bananas next to them as they were taking a while. She encourages me to throw nothing out.

I love being at Ninewells garden as there is a real sense of community and companionship.  I have only been volunteering there since September but have been mentored by experts including Helena, Ronnie and Jim. I can’t wait to get back to it in the Spring!

garlic growing in the garden


  • 1 leek
  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • veg stock
  • 1 shallot
  • salt & pepper
  • knob of butter for frying
  • a little cream and fresh chives to serve


I started by chopping the leeks – I loved all the mud washing away as it was another reminder that they had come straight from the ground! My aunty Katherine taught me how to chop leeks length ways – horizontally. and then vertically.

They were medium sized potatoes so I didn’t peel them, just washed them – I then chopped onion, shallot and garlic
I heated a knob of butter in a large saucepan, added the onion, garlic and leeks. I then added the boiling water with veg stock cube. Put in the potatoes and make sure the the boiling stock has covered the potatoes. Salt and pepper and a stir. Simmer for half an hour and then mash it with the potato masher. 

Season to taste and serve with a little cream and chives to decorate the top
All the fresh ingredients came from the garden except the veg stock, butter and cream.
A delicious meal and sense of achievement. No waste.

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