Monday, March 28, 2011

Creamy Yogurt Asparagus Soup

Asparagus is one of my husband's favorite veggies.  I, however, prefer it drenched with butter, dressing, and just about anything else that will hide the asparagusiness of it all.  Maybe a lovely soup will make it better?  The soy and yogurt should give it a little zip and hopefully I can manage the flour bit without burning it to a brown goo.

Here goes:
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 thick large leek, white stalk only
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (or soy yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (replace with sprinkle of garlic croutons or bread crumbs if you'd prefer to skip the dairy)
  1. Place asparagus, leek and onion in a saucepan with 1/2 cup vegetable broth. Bring the broth to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until the vegetables are tender.
  2. Reserve a few asparagus tips for garnish. Place remaining vegetable mixture in an electric blender (or hand-held blender) and puree until smooth.
  3. Melt butter in the pan that was used for simmering the asparagus and onions. Stir while sprinkling flour, salt, and pepper into the butter. Do not let the flour brown. Allow the mixture to cook only 2 minutes. Stir in remaining broth and increase the heat. Continue stirring until the mixture comes to a boil.
  4. Stir the vegetable puree and milk into the saucepan. Whisk yogurt into the mixture, followed by lemon juice. Stir until heated through, then ladle into bowls. Garnish with reserved asparagus tips. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired. 
As always, I've included vegan/dairy-free options. I'll miss the Parmesan, let me know if you have any ideas for other tasty replacements.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Salmon Tahini Soup

Photo from Elise Bauer
What do you do when you've neglected going to the grocery store all week and know that Trader Joe's on a Sunday night never ends well?  Well, you dig up some tahini from the way-back of the fridge, defrost the salmon steaks you've had since Christmas, throw in herbs and greens, simmer and out comes this hearty wonder!

It can be made with soy milk or cream/milk* (omit lemon) and don't skip on the fresh herbs- they make all the difference.

Salmon Tahini Bisque

1/2 cup soy milk
3 large potatoes
2 salmon steaks
1 tbs fresh dill weed
1 cup chopped spinach, drained
1 yellow pepper, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup tahini
2 tbs Seasoning Mix (I like the TJ's Mix)
2 cups vegetable stock
3tbs miso paste 
2 tbs capers, save liquid for fish
Red pepper flakes for garnish 

First boil the potatoes until soft.
At the same time poach the salmon steaks on top of the stove in a covered pan with 1/2 cup juice from capers, salt/pepper.
In a blender: Put chopped potatoes; vegetable stock, soy milk, tahini, miso paste, dill, and capers. Blend these until smooth.
Now return the blend back to the pot and add flaked salmon, peppers, spinach, peas, and carots. Heat on top of the stove for about 10 to 15 minutes.
The longer you cook, the thicker the consistency. Season to taste.

Recipe inspired by but blending fish sorta freaked me out so a little soup magic was in order.  Luckily, it turned out fantastic.

Puppy Love

Mr. Chihuahua Bowl

Pugsy Salad Plate

Lady Bouffante Salad Plate
I would buy this entire set in a heartbeat if there were more bowls.
Etsy, you're the best.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Creamy Lettuce Soup

Photo from Sunset Magazine
It's never occurred to me to try lettuce in soup so I'm a little skeptical on this one. The sprinkle of nutmeg might win me over but I can't quite imagine the flavor of lettuce in soup. Well, I've been known to complain about my 'same-ol' boring soup recipes so I have to at least try it. Has anyone made this- any tips?

Thanks to Julie and Julia, forgotten French classics like this one are being rediscovered.
  • 1 1/2  pounds  green lettuce, such as 1 1/2 large heads romaine or 2 heads butter lettuce
  • 2  large leeks (white and light green parts only), split lengthwise, rinsed well, and sliced
  • 2  tablespoons  butter
  • About 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3/4  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  pepper
  • 1  qt. reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2  cup  half-and-half
1. Cut ribs from lettuce and chop. Chop leaves. Set both aside separately.
2. Cook leeks and lettuce stems in butter in a 5- to 6-qt. pan over medium heat with 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, the zest, salt, and pepper, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes.
3. Stir in lettuce leaves and broth, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until lettuce is tender, 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Whirl soup in batches in a blender until very smooth, pouring as blended into a bowl. Return soup to pot and stir in half-and-half. Heat, stirring, over medium heat until steaming (don't let boil), about 2 minutes.
5. Ladle soup into bowls or cups and sprinkle more nutmeg on top.

Thanks Sunset Magazine!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ladle Crush

Photos from

 Sometimes you need a little straining with your spooning, this just might be the perfect utilitarian
 spladle(? ).  From the  Spoon Sisters.

Carrot Parsnip Puree with Bacon: Part II

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Melanie J. Clark

 A delicious twist on my standard puree (Carrot Puree January Recipe). This time we've added more parsnips and left out the potatoes to really help cut the sweetness of the carrots and add depth and flavor to the soup. Top with a few slices of smoked bacon and a slice of French baguette for a fantastic rustic meal!

  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil, divided
  • 2 1/2  cups  chopped yellow onion
  • 3  cups  coarsely chopped parsnip (about 1 pound)
  • 3  cups  water
  • 2 1/2  cups  coarsely chopped carrot (about 1 pound)
  • 2  cups chicken broth
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2  cup  (1/8-inch-thick) slices parsnip
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh chives
  • 2 slices finely chopped cooked bacon
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add the onion, and cook 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
Add chopped parsnip, water, carrot, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 50 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes.
Place half of carrot mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Pour pureed carrot mixture in a large bowl.
Repeat procedure with remaining carrot mixture. Stir in salt and pepper.
Heat remaining 5 teaspoons oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add parsnip slices; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, turning occasionally.
Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle parsnip chips, bacon and chives over soup.

Thanks to My Recipes !

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tomato Artichoke Puree Soup

Tomato Artichoke Soup with Garlic Croutons

Yum, I can't wait to make this! Luckily I will be on a Soup Vacation next week with countless hours to chop and puree at my disposal.  Are there any soups you can't live without? Then send 'em on over, I'd love to try some new blends.

But first....

Tomato Artichoke Soup
What You Need 28 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
15 oz can artichokes
1 cup water
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion
1 clove garlic
3 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil

What To Do
1  Chop 1 large onion and 1 clove garlic. In a large soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons butter. Sauté the onions, garlic, and 3 bay leaves until the onions are translucent.
2  Chop the artichokes into smaller pieces. In the soup pot, add the artichokes, tomatoes, 1 cup of water, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon basil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
3  Using an immersion blender (or blender if necessary), blend the soup to a smooth consistency. Add 1 cup milk.  Top with croutons and a little parmesan and serve immediately.

 Thank you A Couple Cooks!