Monday, June 2, 2014

Creamy Asparagus Soup

When in doubt, MAKE SOUP!  Sometimes I feel a bit uninspired and I can't think of a combination of food from my kitchen that seems to work together as a meal.  What am I going to do with all these lovely asparagus?  Soup!  And it's going to be healthy, hearty and creamy all at once 


AsparagusSoup

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Soup
  • 1 bunch of Asparagus
  • 4oz. Crimini Mushroom
  • 1 Tbsp. Earth Balance Vegan Butter
  • 1.5 Tbsp. Flour
  • 2 cups of homemade Vegetable stock
  • 2 Tbsp. Vegan Sour Cream
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
  • fresh Rosemary
  • Salt and Pepper;  to taste

Preparations:
  • Wash and clean the asparagus and then break off the tough ends (discard or freeze to make stock)
  • Cut of the tips and set them aside because they are added to the soup towards the very end.
  • Thinly chop the asparagus and mushrooms.
  • Melt the butter in a medium size sauté pan before adding first the mushrooms and then the asparagus.  Sauté for about 10 minutes over medium heat.  Test the vegetables for doneness and then sprinkle in 1/2 of the flour while constantly stirring.  Continue cooking over the lowest possible heat, stirring frequently, another 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Slowly add the vegetable stock while stirring constantly.  Heat to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.  After about 5 minutes, sprinkle in the remaining tablespoon of flour, mixing well.  Cook another 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Puree the soup with the vegan sour cream and the coconut milk, either with a hand-held immersion blender, or bit-by-bit in a food processor or blender.  Finally, season the smoothly blended mix with pepper and correct any last bit of taste imbalances with a little sprinkle of salt.
  • Steam or sauté the reserved asparagus tips until they are tender.   If necessary, gently heat (but don't boil) the soup, ladle it into your favorite soup bowl and add the asparagus tips.  Serve immediately and enjoy.

EXTRA:  If you happen to have about 50 minutes and you’re interested in simple & sensible vegetarian cooking, I’d recommend the following lecture/book-tour talk given by the lovely Molly Katzen.  I myself am a strickt vegan and some I don't like or agree with some of what she talkes about, but I respect Mollie Katzen for the huge contribution she made to advocating plant-based food starting by the publication of the Moosewood Cookbook in the 1970s.  Katzen holds many culinary honors for her work and advocacy, including the title "one of the best-selling cookbook authors of all time" by the New York Times.  What I like most about Katzen's cookbooks is that the dishes always turn out wonderfully and the recipes are simple to make with ingredients you will most definitely already have in your kitchen.  Her soups especially!  At one point in this lecture Katzen explains that she is always trying to make a recipe as simple as she can because “if a recipe has too many ingredients and if that ingredient list is one or two ingredients to long, that you will likely turn the page and not make the recipe.”  I find this to be so true. 



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        Nina & Spencer

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