Let me preface this anecdote by telling you that my mother, Rosie Beaucoup, adores 2.0. Like, worships at the alter of his awesomeness. And she couldn’t be happier he has come into
my her life. But for a time she worshipped at another alter. The alter of David Humphreys.
Growing up, I had a close-knit circle of friends. We did everything together. I spent a lot of my childhood in their homes. And it was in one of those homes that Rosie Beaucoup found David Humphreys. And Rosie decided that I should marry David Humphreys.
David Humprheys was the older brother of my friend Susan – he was two years ahead of us in school. I don’t know how it was when/where you grew up, but in my mind? Two years was the San Andreas Fault of divides. I would never have even considered talking to someone who was cool enough to have been born two years before me. NEVER. But David was the nicest boy on the planet, and treated all of Susan’s friends like they were real, live, human beings, despite the fact that he played sports. (Dudes who play sports in a small town high school are the next level of cool – they are untouchable.)
I often think of the Humphreys clan at this time of year, as they invited me to their house each December to help decorate their Christmas tree. Because at my house, I wasn’t allowed to touch the tree. My mother was freakin’ Martha Stewart before Martha Stewart was. My mother invented frozen yogurt and pudding pops – she just didn’t get the credit for it. And my mother wasn’t gunna let her snot-nosed kids destroy her magazine-worthy tree. Nope. No way. But at the Humphreys’ house? Tinsel Town, baby. You could put ornaments wherever you wanted! You could layer on the garland and popsicle stick artwork. Branches were laden with glitter and lights, and no one cared about colour balance or themes.
Now, though Rosie Beaucoup understood the rules of pulling together the perfect Christmas tree, she did not understand the Rules of High School. And even if she did, she probably wouldn’t have played by them. Which is why one Christmas, I arrived at the Humprheys’ house for our annual tree decorating bonanza to find a photo of myself in a heart-shaped frame sitting on the coffee table. After some confusion and freaking out, I was told that my mother gifted David Humphreys that photo of me in a heart-shaped from for Christmas. Which meant that all of David’s cool, older-than-me high school friends would have seen it too. So, yes, the entire senior boys basketball team would have been staring at my SCHOOL PHOTO (in a heart-shaped frame) as they sat around doing cool, senior high things like deciding who to take to proms or the Annual Steer Barbecue. News flash: my jungle-themed school photo did nothing to improve my chances.
So I moved to Alaska and survived on this soup for the remainder of my teen years.
This soup is the perfect soup for getting over a cold or high school travesty. It will warm your bones, it will heal you. It tastes of carrots and a hint of wine. It’s flavour is gentle, so it pairs well with any number of main dishes, or easily stands on it’s own. I’ve been making it for years and years, and I’ll never tire of it. Just like I’ll never tire of Rosie Beaucoup’s staunch belief that I deserve the best of everything in this life, and her desire to hand it to me in a heart shaped frame.
Oh, and just so you know, David Humphreys is happily married and reproducing. I went to the wedding with 2.0.
. . .
Carrot and Leek Soup
recipe: adapted from a recipe handed on to me by Rosie Beaucoup
Serves 6-8 people.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 medium to large sized leeks, sliced into thin rounds
- 2 large sweet onions, diced or sliced
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
- 4 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 large, tart apple, peeled and diced
- 5 cups chicken broth/stock
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 1 can (370 ml) fat-free evaporated milk (or you could use another cream of your choice here)
*optional: sometimes I add 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger into this soup for a little zing (especially when I’m fighting off a cold).
In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat and then add the leeks and onion. Cook until softened – about 5 minutes. (*If using ginger, I stir it in once the leeks and onions are soft, and cook for 1 minute.)
Next, add the potatoes, carrots and apple and then cover with chicken broth. Add the salt, pepper and wine. Stir, cover loosely, and cook until the vegetables are tender – about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Blend the soup to a smooth, creamy texture using an immersion blender. (You could also use a blender or food processor. Be careful – hot liquids can spray and burn you – if using a blender or food processor, blend in small batches.)
Return the blended mixture to the stove over low heat, and stir in the evaporated milk (or cream if using). Allow to heat through before serving.
Note: this soup freezes well.