Just last week, it was granita weather. Hot, summery, and basically perfect for tart frozen desserts. And out of the blue, it got colder at nights. The hubster started hogging the covers. And yours truly woke up with the sniffles and a sore throat. At any other time, this would've been a good opportunity for a sick day. I'd stay home, make a giant mug of cocoa, and rock a bathrobe, a ponytail, and my nerdy glasses like I was on the catwalk. The sick day catwalk, that is.
But it's crunch time at work. So, I took my sore-throated self to the office and tried to avoid all human contact. Especially the lady that always tells me about her cat's bowel movements. Really lady, I pretend to care but I'm just not all that interested in cat feces. Or any feces, for that matter. Now some people are blessed with throaty, sexy voices when they get a sore throat. I am not. My normal, Alvin & the Chipmunks voice, adopts a particularly unflattering man quality. I basically sound like an amped-up Kathleen Turner. So there I am sitting there with my man voice when my phone rings. It's a client. I proceed to have a detailed conversation with him about his case. And then, five minutes later, he calls back and says, "Can you tell my attorney that I have to reschedule our meeting next week?" I kindly inform him that I am his attorney. And he says, "No, my attorney is a nice, young woman." That would be me, sir. The client becomes adamant that I am not his attorney and he needs me to pass the message to his attorney. I try everything to convince that man that I am his attorney. The same person he calls at least three times a day, emails six times a day, and meets with once a week. He is still not convinced. Finally, I tell him, "Of course sir, I'll pass your message to your attorney. Is there anything else I can help you with?" Because when you have a man voice, you have to take the path of least resistance. And as soon as I hang up, the phone rings again. It's the boss man. He says, "Send Aboobaker to my office, immediately." I respond, "It's me boss." And he says, "Aboobaker, why do you sound like a man?" Yup, welcome to my life.
By the time I finally got home, it had been a long day. I'd had a man voice all day but none of the perks of manhood. That is, if you can call spitting, burping out loud, and scratching yourself perks. I knew something had to be done before I went into full man-mode. It was soup time. I wanted a hearty soup. Something I could eat with crunchy toast soldiers while watching the newest episode of Dexter (and um, how weird is it that his sister on the show is his wife in real life?). This called for leek and potato soup. Most recipes call for using cream and/or buttermilk for the soup's silky smooth texture. I used whole milk because that's what I had and I didn't want to stop at the grocery store and be ridiculed for my man voice and the soup still turned out creamy and perfect. Also, recipes will call for pureeing the soup into the oblivion. I like soft, creamy chunks of potato so I use a hand blender but if you like your soup to be the consistency of jarred, baby food, puree away, folks, puree away.
And half way through the bowl of soup, my Alvin & the Chipmunks voice returned, and all was well again. Except the hubster still hogged the covers at night and the cat lady still told me stories about her cat's poop the next day. Like I said earlier, welcome to my life.
And it's that time again. Where I ask you to take pity on my sick, pathetic self and cast a vote for my entry for Round 2 of Project Food Blog. If you won't do it for me, do it for B's dad. I mean, how can you say no to a man so patiently waiting for his chilaquiles?
1 pound leeks, cleaned and dark green sections removed, approximately 4 to 5 medium
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Heavy pinch kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
14 ounces, approximately 3 small, Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced small
1 quart vegetable (or chicken) broth
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon snipped chives
Chop the leeks into small pieces.
In a 6-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks and a heavy pinch of salt and sweat for 5 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook until the leeks are tender, approximately 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the potatoes and the broth, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and gently simmer until the potatoes are soft, approximately 45 minutes.
Turn off the heat and puree the mixture with an immersion blender until small chunks remain (or smoother or chunkier, depending on your preference). Stir in the milk and white pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Sprinkle with chives and serve hot (preferably, with toast soldiers).
Adapted from Alton Brown.