Hold on to your socks, ladies… They’re about to be blown off! That’s right, you have a guest chef in your presence. I am, humbly and proudly, the husband of Cara, and she has humored me by letting me share with you one of my chefly secrets (to be honest, this recipe, as with most others besides PB&J, is a first attempt for me).
I chose to cook tonight simply because Cara was feeling sick. Seriously, would you try and cook when you live with a chef with her prowess? C’mon, I’d like to think I’m for equity and balance in a relationship, but let’s be real – Mario Batali couldn’t shoot a jumper and Michael Jordan couldn’t rock orange Crocs in public. Without further ado, let get cookin’…
Looking for something broth-based, I found about five recipes on tasteofhome.com that I thought we both would like. I let Cara pick which one she wanted the most. It came down to two, so I had her pick which one would be the easiest (work smarter not harder, right?). So she picked an Asparagus Leek Soup, which I am renaming “Wife Soup,” obviously in honor of my wife, but also after a song by my favorite band, Umphrey’s McGee.
This just in – I am not a chef. I don’t want to shock you, but it’s the truth. So I had to proceed at a snail’s pace. I did have Cara as my sous chef/photog and Josie, our dog, as our supervisor. First, I made sure to cut up everything ahead of time. Then, I sautéed the leeks, carrots, potatoes in a Dutch oven until tender. After that, I added the broth, stock, rice, and garlic, brought it to a boil, and let it simmer for about fifteen minutes. Next, I stirred in the asparagus and let it simmer for another fifteen minutes. I finished it off by adding the spinach, half and half, parsley, and basil. I allowed it time to heat through. Oh yeah, all along the way I S&Ped it for taste (like that Rachael Ray allusion?).
In addition to halving the recipe, here’s a short list of things I added or changed:
- Olive oil instead of butter
- Half & half instead of heavy cream
If you haven’t gathered from her blog that Cara is a sweet woman, she is and was very generous in her review of this soup. I thought it was okay. After a few bites, we knew it needed something else. Wanna guess what we both love almost as much as Josie? That’s right, cheese! It tasted great after we added Parmesan. I would’ve added crushed red peppers if we had them on hand. I also decided to add a few slices of a subtle French baguette to compliment the intricacies of the… aw, who am I kidding? I cut up a bunch of veggies and threw ‘em in a pot and tried not to burn it. Viola!
Well, this was real and this was fun, but… I’m ready to get back to quality cheffery. I hope you’ve enjoyed this guest blog. If nothing else, you’ll be begging to get back to Cara’ creative culinary cuisines. Til next time!
- 1 1/2 leeks, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 cups chicken stock or broth
- 1/4 cup uncooked long grain brown rice
- 1/2 pound fresh asparagus, but into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 pound fresh spinach, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped
- Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
In a Dutch oven, saute leeks, onion, carrot, potato, and garlic in olive oil for about five minutes or until tender. Add the broth and rice. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir in asparagus. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add the spinach, pepper and cream; heat through. When ready to serve, stir in a teaspoon each of fresh parsley and basil. Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.