Dear readers, I am sharing with you right now my secret weapon--the dish I make when I want to give myself some gratification at the end of a long day, and especially when I want to wow my boyfriend or anyone else cooking dinner. If I had to pick one dish I've learned to cook as my absolute favorite, it may just be cream cheese and herb soup, which I found in The Cook's Library Vegetarian. (Does it surprise readers that my favorite dish doesn't contain chocolate? It does me.)
First and foremost, do not cheat and used a premade vegetable broth. This cookbook offers you an extremely awesome vegetable bullion--make that before you make the soup. You'll savor every drop of effort with each bite of this amazing, tasteful soup. Another tip: the recipe recommends whisking the cream cheese after blending the soup in a food processor. If the whisking isn't working, don't feel guilty about combing the cream cheese with the rest of the soup in a food processor. This recipe makes four servings; consider how minimal that really is. With all the work involved in making this soup, you may want to increase portions of each ingredient so you'll be able to enjoy leftovers (and this does reheat well, trust me). I recommend serving it with fresh vegetables and saltines, as pictured above.
I love cooking this as a precursor to a romantic entree for dinners with my boyfriend, but I also prepare it for myself often when I crave fine cooking, because this is excellent cuisine. Imagine hearty, warmed milk and cornstarch, with the tang of cream cheese, shrouded perfectly in an array of parsley, thyme, basil, and oregano, topped with zesty chives. Finely flavorful, this soup belongs in a five-star restaurant--or in front of your most hard-to-impress dinner guests.