Friday dawned crisp and cool, and as I made my morning run to the farmer's market I knew soup would be in order for dinner.
I also know that Friday is the day the boys are likely to bring a group of kids home with them after school, and now that the older boys tend to linger around until 8 or 9pm, dinner is usually at our place. Not knowing if the kids like soup, or would like my particular version of it, I decided to up the fun factor by also serving a platter of toppings for their bowls in hopes of enticing them to the table.
The soup couldn't be easier to make; sauté 3 large leeks in some butter and oil, add the potatoes, cover with stock, bring to a boil and cook until tender. Blend, season, and add a splash of cream and cup of grated Parmesan and serve. Easy peasy. As for the toppings, I sliced a baguette in half and used one portion to make skillet-croutons and the other half to slice soft rounds for dipping. Crumbed bacon, sliced green onions, cold sour cream, and grated cheddar rounded out the buffet, and I'm happy to say the kids were mostly thrilled with the meal.
We're nearly six months into the teenage years, which hardly make us experts, but I can already see small shifts in our parenting. For one thing, we are very happy to have a group of kids crash here every Friday after school (FYI... a week ago there were NINE of them hanging out as Jackson also had three friends pop by). I feed them, they stay close to home, and I don't have to wonder where my kid is. I leave them alone to play poker in the basement, often using M&Ms in place of traditional poker chips for betting, followed by hours of NHL video games. I chat with the boys in small spurts, taking cues from Ben as to how much talk is enough chatter from the parental figures, and I keep a large supply of food available which pretty much guarantees they'll stick around.
Even if you don't have teenagers to feed, this soup will take you far in pleasing the people around your table. Feel free to freeze the leftovers, or tuck them into a thermos for the next day's lunch. I hear it's almost better the second time around.