One of Anthony Bourdain's culinary awakenings involve him eating a cool potato leek soup on a vacation in France. Well, one of my awakenings as a working mom involve cooking 5L of vichy, freezing individual portions in Ziplocs for quick, easy baon.

Valentine’s Day is a fine excuse to momentarily forget our ever so fragile resolutions to eat better and exercise more, and indulge in decadent dishes without a smidgen of guilt.

On February 14th, it’s going to be an all day gastronomic feast for us at home, starting with a bowl of sinful seafood pasta.

For dinner, it’s always a good idea to go with a his/hers type of meal. Why? You both get to eat your favourite food with your favourite person in the world, and that’s two of the best things in life.

As you can tell, I can’t get enough of seafood. It’s no surprise that my ideal V-day dinner is salmon and vichyssoise. Don’t be intimidated by the fancy French name—it’s basically potato and leek soup. I like mine velvety smooth, served cool, with a touch of crème fraiche. I love salmon because it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare and eat, and exceptionally delicious food prepared in 5 minutes is a beautiful miracle that I am willing to share to frenzied working moms all over the world. Salmon is perfect with a zippy lemon truffle cream sauce that you can prepare in a breeze. I am not kidding you.

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For my partner-in-crime, it’s steak and greens. He has recently joined the paleo craze and has asked me in the nicest caveman voice he could muster to create a side dish that would approximate the creamy, carby satisfaction of eating mashed potatoes. I suggested bone marrow. Mr. Flintstone raised his club in approval.

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½ stick Magnolia Gold butter
250 g leeks, sliced
2 large onion, diced
½ kilo potato, peeled and cut into 1” cubes
1 liter chicken stock (either homemade or canned)
1 cup Magnolia Fresh Milk or 1/2 cup Magnolia All-Purpose Cream
White pepper
Flat leaf parsley or chive, sliced into thin ribbons


1.    Sauté leeks and onions in butter over low heat until soft, about 2 minutes. Add potatoes and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes.
2.    Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Once it boils, lower heat and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
3.    Add 1 cup fresh milk or 1/2 cup cream, simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper.
4.    Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Do this in batches so as not to splatter hot soup on yourself! If too thick, adjust consistency with chicken stock. Cool completely.
5.    Serve!

Tags: february 2014, soup, french cuisine

Easy 5-step recipes featuring the freshest and most exciting ingredients from Rustan's Supermarket.