Picky Perfect Kid Friendly Asparagus and Leek Soup

Posted: Jan 12 2010

Picky-Perfect-Kid-Friendly Asparagus and Leek Soup

There’s nothing worse than a picky eater – especially a 6 year old - under your roof when you’re a loyal, hardcore “Foody”.  My partner and I have a real appreciation for good food and good wine from various cultures and try new things every week.

But as children grow and, god forbid, you have a picky eater, their palettes don’t change too much. So whatever stage your child’s palette remains in, so does yours. Speaking from experience, I must admit, one of my least favourite stages is the ‘Pasta and Butter ONLY’.  And when we are with the children on the weekends all together, our choice of restaurants is limited and dominated by this particular palette. After a while it becomes icky and uninspiring – blah!

For inspiration, I watch the Food Channel on television. I regularly tune into Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Express or The Barefoot Contessa’s Ina Garten, and love to squirm with the contestants on Greg Wallace and John Torode’s Masterchef Goes Large (big fan!). If I cannot watch and am overloaded with things to do in the house, it’s fantastic background noise. Either shows are soothing, hugely entertaining, and interesting - I always get a kick out of the delicious end results! And we don’t need to talk about all of those fabulous trinkets and toys in the kitchen – my cupboards are bulging!

But better yet, my picky eater has inspired me to be more inventive and creative in the kitchen and today, she’s almost cured! I now experiment with spices, veggies, meats, and textures. Every daily challenge takes me to a new level of understanding and appreciation of food and I am even taking cooking classes!

And one of my ‘accidents’ has now become a tried and true recipe - Asparagus and Leek Soup – even children like it! It can be spicy, so keep the heat down for the kids!

Picky Perfect Kid Friendly Asparagus and Leek Soup

Ingredients

3 bushels of asparagus – approximately 30 stalks

2 large leeks

3-4 cups of chicken stock (preferably 2-3 OXO cubes, it’s quick and reliable!)

Unsalted butter

1 tub of Philadelphia Creamed Cheese, regular

¼ cup of milk (optional for thickness)

Tobasco to taste

Cayenne Pepper (optional)

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

For Croutons

Simply cut up slices of bread in small squares and sauté in butter and salt.

Soup feeds 4-6 people.

Essential equipment is a sauté pan, large boiling pot, standing blender, colander, wooden spoon and a fine netted sieve.

Wash the asparagus and especially the leeks, they may still be a bit gritty. Cut a little off the ends of the asparagus and either steam or boil in lightly salted water for approximately 6-8 minutes. Make sure they are soft and floppy. From the leeks, remove the first layer, it can be a bit worn and lose its flavour quickly. Finely slice the leeks and sauté in butter until soft and translucent.

Drain the asparagus, place them with the leeks into the standing blender.  Add approximately 2-2 ½  cups of chicken stock. Blend until very smooth. You may need to add a little more stock to pass through the sieve. Once smooth, pour liquid into the sieve over the pot. Gently turn your wooden spoon clockwise to push the liquid through. This will take a few gos, and once you are through, discard the pulp into the bin.

Add the remaining chicken stock into your pot. Please watch the amount as you don’t want to have a runny soup. Add the tub of creamed cheese, a little nob of butter, salt and pepper to taste. Now this is where the heat comes in. Add a dash of cayenne pepper and a few sprinkles of Tobasco. Keep adding to your liking. I prefer mine with a kick, so I go for it!

Now the soup is ready to eat! However, I prefer to let sit on the stove, in room temperature, for about an hour. This helps it to come alive! Or if you like, keep it in the refrigerator overnight, for a stronger, more robust, thicker soup.

Heat and serve. As a suggestion for garnish add fresh croutons and/or shredded Parmesan cheese.

Bon Appétit!

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