Spring Soup with Asparagus: Recipe #2

NOTE: At the end of April I posted a recipe using asparagus with cauliflower and leafy greens, as well as nutritional info on asparagus. Here is the link to that post: https://www.menupause.info/archives/20506. The recipe from April was much greener, because there were no mushrooms in it. This one below is browner because of the mushrooms. Use white button mushrooms for a lighter color soup.

Utensils: Cutting board & knife, pot for mushrooms, steamer basket & pot or oven sheet for asparagus with tongs for turning, blender or food processor, soup bowls
Prep and Cooking Time: About 20 minutes
Categories: Vegan, Gluten Free, No Sugar Added

Ingredients

10-13 uncut organic mushrooms (not large ones)
enough water or broth/stock to cover mushrooms for cooking, about one cup
3 -4 slices of leek
one piece garlic
one slice ginger (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups asparagus (plus oil if roasting)
parsley, leeks, or chives for garnish

Directions
(Pre-heat oven @ 350 degrees if you want to roast the asparagus or put up water in a steamer pot if steaming the asparagus.)

1. Wash mushrooms well (use a food brush or wet paper towel) and cut off a sliver at the very bottom of the stems where they have turned dark brown. Slice whole mushrooms and place in a pot with enough water to cover. Turn on medium heat to cook about 10 minutes.

2. While the mushrooms are cooking, wash and snap off the ends of the asparagus and slice into thirds. Steam (in steamer basket with enough pre-heated water underneath to the bottom of steamer) or roast in oven @ 350 degrees for about 5 minutes. If roasting, brush with coconut or other oil, and broil for about 30 seconds after the 5 minutes of roasting, turning once.

3. The mushrooms and asparagus should be ready about the same time, under 10 minutes. Place the cooked or roasted asparagus in the pot with the mushrooms and broth. Then in two or three batches, puree the mushrooms and asparagus, PLUS the garlic and ginger (if using). Add a dash of salt & pepper or other herbs of your choice. (If you like, before pureeing, remove a few pieces of mushroom and/or asparagus, and then add back to the pureed soup for a chunkier texture.)

4. If the soup is too thick, add more stock. Heat again and serve hot with garnish of choice. (Option: Feel free to add some cooked rice or quinoa to the soup to thicken.)

Yield: Two servings (Feel free to double the recipe for more servings and to use  more asparagus for a greener soup. The proportions can be changed to your taste and what you have available. Be flexible!)

Notes: If you want to use an immersion blender, you may have to cut the mushroom and asparagus pieces smaller either before or after cooking them. I used a food processor, so not sure how small the pieces need to be.

Also, if you steam the asparagus, you can use that instead of the mushroom broth from cooking them. Otherwise, cool well and use to water your herbs, flowers or houseplants.

Finally, this recipe was originally part of Earth Day, Every Day in April with the first soup since they are both low on the food chain, but can be counted as my first posting in May as part of my ongoing plan for this concept every month. I hope to make this a new category in the lefthand margin some time this month.

Spring Soups with Asparagus: Recipe #1

Since this recipe is low on the food chain and made with organic ingredients, I am calling Earth Day, Every Day #5.

According to Lisa Mosing, MS, RD, FADA, “Asparagus spears and the Spring season reach their peak at about the same time.” Mosing also notes that “asparagus is easy to prepare, healthy and delicious to eat” with “spears high in vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin and folate, high in fiber and a good source of iron and potassium” and…. “is a nutritious and versatile vegetable that can be easily served as an appetizer, a soup, a salad, a side dish, or with pasta.” Finally, even though asparagus is available all year round, “the best time to buy for freshness is in spring.”

To read more go to:
http://www.lifescript.com/health/centers/smoking_
cessation/alternative_treatments/folate_articles/nutritional_
sign_of_spring_asparagus.aspx#sthash.NoL8MBRl.dpuf

I have chosen two soup recipes that incorporate asparagus, one today and the other in my next Kitchen Nutrition posting. The first is a combination of recipes I saw in two magazines, using cauliflower to make it “creamy.” The second one uses pureed mushrooms to thicken the soup and is my own idea. The shades of green will be different because of the additional dark greens used in the first and the brown mushrooms in the second.

Spring Soup #1 with Roasted Asparagus, Cauliflower & Leafy Greens

Utensils: Soup pot, cutting board & knife,  large bowl or large measuring cup with lip, cookie sheet, blender or food processor (Steamer basket and pot if you choose to steam the greens.)
Prep. Time & Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes
(You will be prepping and cooking somewhat simultaneously)
Categories: Vegan (V), Gluten Free (GF), No Added Sugar (NAS)

Ingredients (Feel free to use more or less of each veggie, depending on your preferences for each vegetable.)

6-8 (organic) asparagus spears
6 oz. of riced cauliflower* (1/2 pkg.)
one cup baby kale (less bitter) or spinach or chard
coconut oil (or butter or ghee if not vegan)
2 cups soup stock (approximately)
salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350-375 degrees F.
  2. Wash and snap off woody ends of the asparagus, cut into thirds, toss with one or two Tbl. oil and bake on an oiled cookie sheet (another Tbl.) until slightly crisp. This may take as little as 5 minutes and as much as 10 minutes, depending on thickness of spears. You can also put asparagus on grill mode for a couple of minutes, turning once but not burning the asparagus. Remove and cool.
  3. (You can do this step before the asparagus is in the oven or after, since the two veggies cook in about the same time.) Place your greens in a pot of pure water to cover the greens or in a steamer and simmer (in pot) or steam (in steamer) for about 5-7 minutes. Drain. (I use the green cooking water for plants when the water cools, because kale imparts a somewhat bitter taste to the water, so I don’t use it for the soup.)
  4. Also, while the asparagus is roasting, measure 6 oz. of riced cauliflower.*  Set aside. (If not using riced cauliflower, cook slices of fresh cauliflower, about 3 or 4 cauliflowerettes, in water or stock for about 5 minutes. See notes below.)
  5. Mix all three veggies together in a large bowl or large measuring cup and using a blender or food processor, blend the mixture in 2 or 3 batches with soup stock, starting with one cup of stock. If soup is too thick, add more stock. Pour into soup pot, heat, adding salt and pepper to taste or other herbs of your choice. (Puree to the smoothness you like. I like it a little chunky.)Yield: Approximately 2 to 2 1/2 cups. (Can also be served cold.)

    *Riced cauliflower is merely whole cauliflower ground up into small pieces and found frozen or perhaps in packages in the refrigerated section of the market. You can make your own by placing wholepieces in a blender or food processor. Since the soup is pureed, you can skip riced version and just slice cauliflower pieces thinly enough to cook quickly and be small enough to blend with the other ingredients. The water from cooking this cauliflower can also be used instead of or as part of the soup stock.
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