Monday, April 13, 2009

Asparagus Squash Soup

aPoor sad and wonderful Harold Brodkey the dead author I discovered in the smallest used bookstore with the most books in Camden, Maine, concludes arguably his most famous story First Love and Other Sorrows with the love of soup.

I was reminded of this while I was re-reading this story on a walk to a friend's apartment in the East Village. I mastered the art of walking and reading long ago. Even after I arrived at the apartment's walk-up I stayed outside in the crisp early evening Saturday leaning on the railing to finish the story as couples and crazies passed me by.

The story is set in the late '50's. A daughter is about to get married to rich man she probably doesn't love. The father is long dead. And there is the pre-teen son observing it all.

"I'm hungry, too," she said. "I don't know why." She drifted over to the table, and bent over the chicken. "I guess emotion makes people hungry."

The mother pushed open the swinging door, from the dining-room side. "There you are," she said. She looked flustered. "Are you eating at this time of night?"

My sister said she was hungry, too.

"There's some soup," my mother said. "Why don't I heat it up." And suddenly her eyes filled with tears, and all at once we fell to kissing one another- to embracing and smiling and making cheerful predictions about one another- there in the white, brightly lighted kitchen. We had known each other for so long, and there were so many things we all three remembered... Our smiles, our approving glances, wandered from face to face. There was a feeling of politeness in the air. We were behaving the way we would in railway stations, at my sister's wedding, at the birth of her first child, at my graduation from college.

This was the first of our reunions.

Perhaps This Was Their Soup

In soup bowl saute
1/2 an onion chopped
2 leeks chopped
1 yellow squash chopped
1 bunch of asparagus cut into inch pieces or smaller
Add in olive oil and 1/2 a stick of butter
with a few sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary

At the same time boil a handful and a half of red potatoes (with skins) in separate pot

When the veggies are crispy but mostly cooked through add the potatoes into the soup pot
Add a squeeze of one lemon
And add enough chicken broth to cover the veggies
Take off heat, puree in a blender.


  1. That looks pretty good (puts down half eaten, half frozen Trader Joe's pork dumpling). In a few weeks i'll be making more soup than i'll know what to do with!

  2. Alayna, I saw your blog and made this soup over the weekend! Jesse, my housemates, and I loved it. I hope you, Kate, and Zizi are well. <3 Martha