Asparagus Soup; Bruschetta with Beans, Avocados, Tomatoes and Lemon Dressing

By Ira,

The asparagus soup is delicious and easy to make. The bruschetta has a very bright lemony flavor. You can also just have it as a salad which I often do for lunch.

Asparagus Soup

Serves 6 – Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

  • 2 pounds asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 small leeks, halved lengthwise and sliced thin (white and light green parts only)
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Cut about 1-inch off the tough stem ends of the asparagus and discard. Cut the tips off and set aside. Cut the rest of the spears into 1/2-inch pieces and set aside. If the spears are more than 1/2-inch thick, then peel them with a vegetable peeler.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the asparagus tips and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes until they’re just tender. Transfer it to a plate and set aside.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the same Dutch oven over medium-low heat, then add the 1/2-inch diced asparagus (not the tips), leeks, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they’re softened.

Now add the chicken stock and increase the heat so it comes to boil, the decrease it to medium-low and let it simmer for 5 minutes.

Next add the peas and Parmesan.

You now need to puree the soup. You can puree it in a blender in 2 batches, or you can use an immersion blender. Be careful with the immersion blender as the soup is hot and it might splatter. You need to keep the head of the immersion blender immersed in the soup or it will make a mess. I used an immersion blender. If you use a regular blender, you need to return the soup back to the pot. Now add the cream and lemon juice. Taste for the seasonings and adjust with salt and pepper. You can also now add the asparagus tips to the soup, or you can leave it out and add it to the soup bowls, in the middle, like croutons.

Bruschetta with Beans, Avocados, Tomatoes and Lemon Dressing

  • 1 15.5-ounce can small navy beans
  • 1/2 dry pint of cherry or grape tomatoes (about a handful), or 1 small tomato cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup finely minced parsley
  • 4 scallions, finely sliced
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 loaf Ciabatta bread, sliced into 1/4 or 1/2 inch thick slices

Drain and rinse the navy beans. Drain them well again as you don’t want extra liquid in the salad. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir. Toast the bread and spoon the salad on top of the bread. You can also eat the salad as it is.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s