I put it in an urn and wrapped it with a ribbon from my stash. Kind of cute for only $1.69, isn't it?
I'm thinking it needs something -- a little bird, an egg, or one of those moss-colored bunnies from Pier 1 that I am seeing all over blogland.
But for now, I'm pleased.
(from the McCall's Cooking School)
1 small onion
2 T. butter
2 medium carrots
1 1/2 quarts hot water
2 t. salt
8 stalks fresh or frozen asparagus
1/4 c. raw regular white rice
1/2 lb. fresh spinach
1 c. half-and-half
Trim leeks. Cut slice off root ends and dark green tops so leeks are about 7 inches long after trimming. Peel off tough outer layer from bulb. Wash thoroughly in cold water to remove any sand and dirt. Drain well. Slice lengthwise and then chop to get 1 cup chopped leeks.
Peel and chop onion and add to leeks. Put butter in a 3-quart kettle and heat over moderately high heat until it is melted and hot. Reduce heat to low; add leeks and onion. Stir with a wooden spoon until leeks and onion ar well coated with butter.
Cover kettle and cook leeks and onion over low heat for about 5 minutes or until very tender. Meanwhile, peel and quarter potatoes; peel carrots. Cut potatoes and carrots into very thin slices (about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick). Add to leeks and onion with hot water and salt.
Increase heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. When soup is boiling rapidly, reduce heat to low; cover kettle and simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, if using fresh asparagus, snap off tough ends and discard. Cut fresh or frozen asparagus spears into 1/2-inch-long pieces.
Add rice to the kettle. Stir to separate rice; cover kettle and simmer for 15 minutes. Add asparagus; simmer for 10 minutes. Wash and dry spinach; remove tough stems. Chop spinach; add to rice-and-asparagus mixture and simmer 10 minutes longer, or until vegetables are tender.
With a wooden spoon, gently stir the light cream into the soup. Increase heat to moderately high and bring soup just to a boil. Remove from heat; cover and chill overnight. Just before serving, return soup to a boil, stirring constantly. Makes 8 servings.