Cooking takes instinct.
And when instinct fails, skill should kick in.
When skills fails…oh, well.
I had gone to an event and got roped into staying for dinner. Normally, I avoid eating food cooked by people I don’t know but there was absolutely no way I could wriggle out of it so there I was sitting in a cave – yes, a cave – waiting on dinner.
The cook had decided to start dinner with a cream of leek soup from a recipe that I knew quite well. It was a simple recipe that was easy to make and filling. It called for fresh cream and leeks and a handful of cracked oat if it turned out too thin. That’s all. Anyone should have been able to make it.
Keep that in mind as the cook had made a few questionable choices.
First, as this was a cream of leek soup, what did you think they needed a lot of?
But they hadn’t bought cream. Nooooooooooo! They had bought 2% milk. Yup. Just this side of fat free.
So, that is when they made their next mistake.
They decided to add some fat by whipping in some yogurt. It actually could have worked if they had bought unflavored yogurt…but they didn’t.
They bought Blueberry Yoplait.
Whisking it in, they boiled it merrily away eventually carmelizing the blueberries and turning the soup blue. Blue with little black bits floating in it. It looked like a scene out of “Bridget Jones’ Diary”.
That is when they made their next mistake.
If you were going to prepare leeks for a soup, how would you make them? Myself, I would roughly chop them after throughly cleaning them. Then, I would lightly sautee them in butter and add them to the soup.
That is not what they did.
Instead of chopping the leeks by hand, the cooks decided to use a food processor. Dropping the leeks into it, they hit the button and – ZIIIIIIIIIIP! – leek pesto! Bright green, pureed leek pesto.
Which they then proceeded to add to the blue soup creating the most lovely shade of turquoise.
And proceeded to boil merrily away. That is when they noticed that the soup was a little thin.
The recipe calls for adding a handful of cracked oat to thicken if needed. And that is what they did.
But, they didn’t have cracked oats. They had a three pound tube of Quaker Instant and proceeded to add the entire package and boiled merrily away. This was three days before the event.
That is when they made their final mistake.
As the food was being served in a cave and the kitchen was a distance from the serving area, they decided to serve the soup chilled.
So imagine my consternation when they go to fill my bowl and pour it out of the pan and it goes POOOOOOOOOOUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRR! in slow motion and then SPLOOOSH!
I have just been poured a bowl of quivering elephant snot.
As I sat speechless and not knowing what to do, I looked up and down the tables and noticed I was not the only one in this quandary. One kid was even doing sculpture in it.
Just as I was preparing to quietly hide my bowl and disappear, up came the cook asking how it was. There was absolutely no way that I was going insult this woman after so much work.
“Oh, my! How did you get that color?” as I struggled for a path to escape.
“Wow! Instant Oats, you say? Fascinating.”
Then I found my pathway to salvation. Allelujah!
“Is this leek? Oh, I am so sorry. I’m allergic.”
Now let’s do it right:
One gallon cream
One large bunch of leeks
1/2 stick butter
First, THOROUGHLY clean the leeks and then roughly chop them. Melt the butter in a skillet and lightly brown the leeks.
Next, slowly warm the cream to prevent scalding in a sauce pan. Whisk in the brown leeks and slowly thicken. Add salt, pepper and oregano to taste.
Finally, if the soup is too thin, add a handful of cracked oat to thicken.
Serve warm and it should serve six.
COPYRIGHT 2016 Micheal J. Hobbs