- By Francesca Rilotelli
- Published 11/30/2012
With the weather getting colder and the nights getting shorter, there’s sometimes nothing better than sitting on the sofa with a delicious bowl of leek and potato soup to warm the cockles. Luckily, it looks like the staple ingredient, the humble leek, isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, as the biggest one ever was cultivated just a few months ago near Sunderland.
The champion grower showed off his 20lb 5oz record-breaking leek, and was clearly pretty pleased with the results of his marathon growing efforts.
But in order for John Pearson to show off his record-breaking leek, he had to fold down his car seats and ask two men to help him carry the vegetable to a show.
Mr Pearson, 63, was already an accomplished grower of leeks before cultivating this latest record-breaking effort, and had already set world records for the biggest pair and trio of leeks in 2002. He has had to install a suitcase-weighing machine in his greenhouse to measure his produce’s progress.
Modestly, he said: “I’m proud to have the world record, but anyone could grow a leek like this – if they had the right pips.”
The retired groundsman, of Hetton-le-Hole, Sunderland, said his success was down to using seeds the previous world beater, John Soulsby, had given to him.
He has returned the favour by giving Mr Soulsby pips from his own victor.
A 54lb cabbage, 4lb 5oz tomato and 107lb marrow were among other winners at Sunday’s show at North East Working Men’s Club in Stanley, County Durham.
Fingers crossed that Mr Pearson can continue to produce the largest and best leeks in the land, and that Britain can continue to dine in on long winter’s nights on the most delicious and comforting of all the soups – the humble leek and potato!
About the Author : Francesca Rilotelli is writing about Leek and potato soup