Normally I write about fun, kooky food related holidays, but today it's actually a day I really care about and think is important to acknowledge. Today is International Women's Day, a day when females all over the world rally together and fight for equality, peace, respect, and justice. I'll be sending a text out to all of the fabulous women in my life to let them know they should celebrate and encourage you to do the same readers. Recently female chefs have been awarded well deserved recognition for their culinary achievements. In 2005, First Lady Laura Bush appointed the first minority/first female to the position of White House Executive chef. Chef Cris Comerford was raised in the Philippines and worked in the White House for 10 years before she was promoted to head honcho in the kitchen. To embrace the empowerment of womankind I suggest making her simple, scrumptious, vegetarian soup - one that was served at a Presidential lunch the day of the 2006 State of the Union address. For the recipe,
1 tablespoon butter
2 bunches leeks, white part only
4 garlic cloves
4 shallots, peeled and sliced
2 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
1½ quarts chicken (or vegetable) stock
2 bunches sorrel leaves
1 cup spinach, blanched and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Cream to finish (optional)
- Melt the butter in a medium soup pot over a medium heat. Sweat the leeks, garlic, shallots and herbs until translucent. Add the potatoes and cook for a few minutes. Pour in the chicken stock and reduce the heat to a simmer for around half an hour.
- Transfer to a blender and purée until smooth. Add the sorrel and spinach; then pulse the blender a few more times to mix together.
- Pass the mixture through a fine chinois or food mill. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You may add a dollop of cream to finish, if desired. Present immediately.