Today - perhaps inspired by my fab fifties skirt apron - I went back to Julia and made the very first recipe that appears in Mastering the Art of French Cooking: leek and potato soup. (Actually, it probably had less to do with inspiration and more to do with the fact that I had leeks and potatoes left over from other recipes that we getting to the "use or throw out" point.)
Julia's leek and potato soup is the easiest thing in the world:
1. Slice up some leeks (about 2 cups).
2. Peel and chop up some potatoes (3 or 4 cups).
3. Put in a pot with a tablespoon of salt and 2 quarts of water (I actually cheated here - I had one quart of homemade chicken stock left, so I threw that in there instead of one of the quarts of water).
Putting everything together in the stock pot
4. Bring it to a boil and then simmer it partially covered for 50 minutes, remove the cover, and simmer for 15 more.
5. Puree it using a food mill, immersion blender, or food processor.
6. Stir in a few tablespoons of heavy cream and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Adding cream and seasonings
That's it! It's probably the least-complicated - and possibly least fattening - recipe in the whole book (maybe that's why it appears first!) I'm looking forward to a week of good lunches.