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edible, inedible leeks

Alex and I went to our first ‘couple’s thing’ last week. It was a little surreal, all day I kept having flashes of, “Wow- I am really married!” Seems strange that after almost three months I would be saying that, that it would be hitting me just as hard as when I woke up that third morning in my new home, next to a new husband, thinking – “Oh my word- we really did it. We got married. We’re married. I’m married.” While the realization has often come with gravity and sobriety, it has never come with pain or angst or upset, I always feel it when I simply can’t believe I am really *this* blessed, really *this* happy, really *this* married to *that* man. It’s amazing. Are you tired of hearing about it? I hope not, because it really is a most wonderful thing.

Anyway- couples’ dinner. I needed to bring either a soup, salad, bread or dessert, and I chose soup- Potato Leek soup to be exact, and then rushed off to the kitchen to concoct something.

Boy Howdy I’m Married Potato Leek Soup

2 leeks, the edible part sliced into coins about a 1/4 inch thick

2 shallots, sliced

1 clove of garlic, minced

5 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced

1 Tbsp parsley

pepper

2 Tbsp chicken bullion

1/8 cup white wine

2-3 potatoes, cubed

olive oil

a little bit of butter (sneak it in there, folks, you’ll thank me later)

There is a foggy part in my brain which doesn’t quite know *where* the edible part of leeks starts and stops. Is there a definitive *place* where edible meets the green part you feel guilty about throwing away? I don’t want to stop too soon and waste valuable leek, but I don’t want to plague the consumer of the soup with tough, inedible slices of leek that should have been discarded. I want to be seen as ‘thrifty’, not ‘cheap’. Oh my. You must decide on your own where you draw the edible line on your leeks.

The leeks, shallots and garlic get sauteed in a large frying pan in olive oil until they are soft, then they are put into a big soup pot (with a four or more quart capacity, if you please). Next, the mushrooms are going to go into the frying pan with a little more olive oil and that little bit of butter you haven’t told Alex you are using. I have fallen in love with baby bella mushrooms, a very infantile version of portabella mushrooms. They are lovely, sparrow-colored things that hold their shape well even after being stewed and unlike regular button mushrooms, they actually impart a flavor which is earthy and subtle and perfect. Once the mushrooms have been weakened by the cooking, give them the wine to regain themselves. This should sizzle and wake them up nicely, then they too go into the waiting soup pot. Next comes the bullion, parsley, pepper, 2 quarts of water, and the cubed potatoes. Everything gets boiled until the potatoes are soft and edible (this should be an easier job to do than discerning the edible parts of a leek).

Viola. Serve to the one you love and rejoice- it’s for real.

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"The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook." Julia Child

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