Tuesday, December 22, 2009

French Aspargus Cream Soup

One Year Of Soups

We made it. This marks our one year anniversary of Monday's Soup. Things have changed in both my life and Alayna's in that year but when you flip back over the months and months of soups everything feels solid and stable and good. Soup steadies us.

There have been a small handful of Mondays when we had to do a soup solo. When I was in Alaska, when Alayna was sick. That said, we never missed a week of making soup completely.

So what have we learned? A lot, actually. Alayna was ahead of me in the kitchen all along, from when we met in France and had those big dinner parties, I'd just drink the champagne in the corner or buy the last minute groceries we had forgotten at the market. We talked about it last night on her couch, my legs crossed with my soup bowl balanced on a pillow on my lap. Alayna said before she only felt comfortable making a handful of soups. This has obviously changed. We also have made friends with a bunch of different vegetables that before, we weren't totally sure what do with. Kale, parsnips, a giant pumpkin... to name a few.

And what's next? Ethnic soups. We feel we have gone through the round of vegetable soups, French and American, simple broths, gazpachos, chicken and shrimp and sausage... now it's time to move into lentils and spices and richer stews. Lets travel to India and Thailand and China and Bhutan. Yes, Bhutan.

What does a year of soup taste like? It tastes like a nice stable routine that grounds you and roots you in a city that can sometimes spin you off. So it's good. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the truth of the truth? The marrow of Monday's Soups? Is this:

Soup is good.

P.S. I have a cat now. Toaster. Zizi and Toaster are going to be bestfriends. And I just thought ya'll should know.

French Aspargus Cream Soup

  • melt about 1/4 stick of butter in your soup pot
  • saute a small yellow onion and the white parts of 5 small (3 large) leeks until translucent and fragrant
  • add your home-made chicken broth* and bring to a simmer
  • add 3-4 thinly sliced (pinky width) red potatoes and four carrots, similarly chopped, and let simmer for about 20 minutes
  • when potatoes and carrots are getting softer, add in a bunch of chopped asparagus... simmer all together for about five minutes, then approximately a cup of heavy cream (more or less to taste) and 3-4 handfuls of spinach
  • turn off heat, stir in spinach and let sit about five minutes before serving with Parmesan cheese on top

  • de-bone a chicken thoroughly (we used two since both were small)
  • stick the bones in a pot with a few cloves of garlic (4-5), some roughly chopped onions, carrots, celery and herbs (we used oregano, thyme and rosemary) with salt and pepper
  • simmer on low for 2 hours, adding water if necessary
  • strain through a colander or cheese cloth, discarding 'bits' and cool in the refrigerator overnight to let fat congeal
  • skim the fat off (it will look yellowy-white not brown) the broth will be kind of gelatinous. that's okay, it'll liquefy when it's warmed up

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