I cleaned out a bookshelf and put in all the books that inspire my creativity. That meant hauling cookbooks in from the kitchen and organizing my craft books by type. I'm spending so much more time with them now because I can see them so clearly from the cozy chair in the corner.
Last Sunday morning, I laid on my stomach with a bunch of cookbooks open to things I wanted to make in my immediate future. I consulted my giant I Know How to Cook book and bookmarked the recipe for Potage Bonne Femme, a delicate vegetable soup. With a fresh loaf of bread, it turned out to be a lovely rainy day dinner that lasted a couple days. In this season when I feel like I have to make recipes with squash but don't want to deal with peeling the dang things, this is a great alternative. See, it even looks squashy.
Potage Bonne Femme
Adapted from I Know How to Cook by Ginette Mathiot
2 large leeks, or 3 medium ones, white and light green parts, sliced fairly thin
4 carrots, peeled and diced
5 small Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1 T. unsalted butter
6 c. water
2 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium. Add the veggies and cook with a good pinch (or more) of salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 5-7 minutes. Don't let them brown. Add the water (freshly boiled water is ideal), cloves and bay leaves and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables are quite tender. Remove the cloves and bay leaf. At this point, you can stir in cream and season to taste, or, if you like a blended soup, as I do, take your immersion or regular blender and puree the soup. Stir in a glug of cream, season with salt and pepper to taste, and spoon into bowls. Top with chives.
Serve with warm, crusty bread or toast.