Tuesday, July 14, 2009


One day my sister was sitting in the other room as her husband and four year son played Lego's in the adjacent bedroom. She was sifting through emails as she casually listened to her son and his father having a conversation. It started off pretty benign and quickly took a turn for the worse. Scout (her son) asked his Daddy if anyone was ever mean to him when he was a little boy. Robbie (her husband) responded in the affirmative and asked why his son was curious. Scout proceeded to explain that one of his friends at school told him that he hated him earlier that day. My sister was crushed, how could anyone say such a cruel thing to her special little son? Not wanting to get involved where she wasn't needed, she let them talk through the situation on their own over the toy building blocks.

But her lack of interference didn't mean she wasn't still extremely upset about what she overheard. She understood kids could be mean, but it took on a whole new meaning when someone was directing that animosity toward her own offspring. She was devastated. She called me to report the situation and then she called my parents. We tried to comfort her; however we did little to calm her frustration. As she lay down to sleep that night her husband explained that it would be OK. He told a story of how when he was the same age as Scout some of the kids at his school used to pick on each other as well and it rarely had any type of lasting effect. She asked brokenheartedly, "Well did anyone ever tell you that they hated you?" To which Robbie responded, "No, but they used to tell me that my Daddy ate leeks." What?!? She couldn't help but laugh which was exactly what she needed after her evening of worrying. Although the insult seemed to pale in comparison to the one her son had suffered, it made her realize that tomorrow was another day and that her son would be just fine.

Creamy Artichoke Soup
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 leeks, white part only, washed well and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives, for garnish


Heat olive oil in a heavy, large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and the garlic and stir.

Add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.

Add the artichokes, stock, salt, and pepper and cook until the vegetables are tender,

about 20 minutes.

Using a handheld immersion blender, or in a blender in batches*, puree the soup.

Add the 2 tablespoons mascarpone and blend again to combine. In a small bowl, stir the remaining 1/3 cup mascarpone to soften.

Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Dollop the top of each of the soups with a spoonful of the softened mascarpone cheese and top the cheese with chives.

* When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.


Woody said...

The warm soup with the cold mascarpone cheese was so good.

KMAYS said...

We used to make fun of this one kid because he always brought egg salad for lunch, and without even trying it, we deemed it unacceptable. Kids can be so mean! Much to my surprise, I found out later that I loved egg salad!

Kerstin said...

Awww, why are kids so mean?

Your soup looks lovely with that mascarpone cheese in it - yum!