If I ever write a cookbook, it will be called "It Tastes Better Than It Looks". Either that or "Dear, could you just go down to the shop and get me some....." or "It'll be ready sooooon! Is the table set yet????" (the latter a frequent stalling mechanism).
With food looking this good I should be making Macbeth movies.
This started as a recipe from the award-winning Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers.
I wasnt sure whether to use the chicken meat for soup or pasta (vegetarians can stop reading now...). Then the supermarket had asparagus on sale (given that its winter and the asparagus was imported and not that great).
So I started with the Zuni "Asparagus & Rice Soup with Pancetta and Black Pepper" (page 166). But i also bought a fennel bulb and we had bacon and leeks in the fridge. So it has ended up like this.
Chop a leek and a fennel bulb and fry in oil and/or butter.
Chop a few chicken breasts or thighs and fry them in there too.
Fry some bacon rashers in a separate pan and then dice them.
Go for a run to reduce your cholesterol levels before you eat.
Add 1/4 cup white wine and 5-6 cups chicken stock and lots of black pepper and bring to the boil.
Meanwhile break off the woody bits of the asparagus and slice them at a fancy angle. About 42 degrees...
Add the bacon and asparagus and salt and pepper or whatever and simmer it while you go and write a blog about your fabulous new recipe. You might even have time to take a photo or two.
Taste it. Brilliant!
THEN, remember that your spouse/partner said she/he liked corn in chicken soup. Open the can of creamed corn that someone bought by mistake. Put half of it in and taste it. Not bad! Then put the other half in. Whoah! Far too much corn and you've totally changed the character of the soup. But it still tastes pretty reasonable.
Then ask spouse/partner to go to the shop to buy margarine to put on the bread because you've run out of it.
Ask a random daughter to taste the said 'corny' soup. She says "nice". I can relax. Dinner is 2 hours late as usual.
The other part of the meal is nice bread. Our college gets free leftover bread weekly from a bakery and we give it to students because their allowances are so pathetically low. But this week the students are on holidays!