Creamy Asparagus Soup: Hold The Cream

My husband and I have what we call Jew stomachs. We're not super lactose intolerant, but if given the choice, we avoid cow milk when we can. Luckily, this soup gives you all the velvety satisfaction of a cream soup, without the bloat. (or the extra calories for that matter). There is some butter in the roux but since it's low in lactose, we can both enjoy it just fine. 

It also freezes super well, so I've been taking full advantage of Asparagus season to make large batches. Then, when the fall hits, and all that's left at the market are roots and onions again, I'll still be able to warm up a bowl of spring. 

Here it is relatively step-by-step. (oh baby). 

Trim and cut the stalks, leaving tips in separate bowl. 

Trim and cut the stalks, leaving tips in separate bowl. 

It gets prettier after this. 

It gets prettier after this. 

I'm still amazed by how velvety smooth my Vitamix makes the soup. 

I'm still amazed by how velvety smooth my Vitamix makes the soup. 

It freezes extremely well, and holds together when reheated on the stove. I freeze in containers with a few of the asparagus tips in each one. Enough to have a couple in each bowl.

INGREDIENTS:

2 pds Asparagus
6 cups chicken stock
1 tsp salt
7 tbsp butter
6 tbsp flour
1/2 cup green onion finely chopped
chicken stock
butter
flour
egg yolk (optional)

METHOD:

1. Trim and cut the asparagus into 1/2 inch pieces, reserving the tips.
2. In large saucepan, boil chicken stock and salt (I use low sodium stock). Add asparagus tips and boil       slowly for 5-8 min until just tender. Drain stock into a bowl and reserve tips. 
3. In same saucepan, melt the butter, stir in flour and cook over low heat 1-2 min. Pour in stock and whisk till blended. Simmer till base comes to a boil, smooth and thick.
4. Continue to allow soup to simmer on low heat.
5. Melt the remaining two tbsp of butter in another skillet. When the foam subsides, add onions and asparagus stalks. Cook for about 3 min then add mixture into the soup base. Cook over low heat for about 15 min, or until asparagus are tender.
6. Puree soup in a blender, then strain back into pot. (No need to strain if using a Vitamix or something super powerful). At this point, it's already delicious, but if you want an extra touch of richness, see point 7.
7. With a whisk, blend egg yolk and add in a small amount of soup, keep adding soup till 1/2 cup has been added, then add mixture back into the bigger pot. Bring to a boil for another 30 seconds then remove from heat. 
8. Top each bowl with a few asparagus tips, and serve hot or cold.

Adapted from original recipe passed to me from my mom. 

Adapted from original recipe passed to me from my mom. 

The leftover report: rib roast.

Here’s a collection of what became of the rib roast leftovers. Of which there are now no leftovers. 

Sometimes you need a little gluten. Roast beef sandwiches for 2.

For the day after, I sliced the meat thin to turn into sandwiches, added some lettuce, swiss, mayo, mustard, on fresh whole grain buns. 

Steak tacos. Just cube the meat and toss in pan with some seasoning and onion. 

For the tacos, I used some extra celeriac I had and made a slaw with red cabbage. Then I cubed what was basically a small steak cut from the roast and tossed in a pan with some cumin and onion. Topped with avocado, goat cheese and greek yogurt. 

I really need to get a light for night shots. 

I really need to get a light for night shots. 

One more time with feeling. If you take the most rare part from the center of the roast, you can reheat it carefully and slowly, covered at 250 to serve again. This time with leftover celeriac puree, and some beautiful red chard.

This morning, I used the last little bit in an omelette with some spinach and tomato, and just like that, the roast was done. With not a leftover complaint in the house. 

 

When Babbo met Terroni

I had a false start of a life in New York about 8 years ago. For my last supper, my roommate and I went to Babbo. Before I left, he gave me a copy of the cookbook and I've been trying to recreate the bolognese as best I can ever since.

When I moved back to New York last year, my last supper was at Terroni in Toronto. They have a mushroom salad there that I've been trying to recreate as best I can ever since as well.

So for a recent Sunday night framily dinner with our other Brooklyn via Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto friends we introduced them to each other.

 Babbo Pappardele Bolognese, meet Terroni Funghi Assoluti Salad.

For the Terroni salad an official recipe didn't exist, so I did my best to make it up, with some help from other eager Terroni lovers who have attempted the same thing. (Thanks Lillies Lattes and Lace, and A Perfect Day for Bananafish.) 

The bolognese calls for a mixture of veal and pork. I've only been buying organic meat for the past couple of years, and find it really hard to find veal at any of the shops near me. Which led me to Mario and Sons Meat Market at Metropolitain near Lorimer. Mario didn't have the veal I wanted that day, but convinced me to get beef and ground it fresh with the pork while his wife told me it would work just as well. I spent an hour in the shop learning about how Mario's wife and son prepare their Sunday sauce, while their grandson played with our dog, and some other cousins fed him pizza crust. It's my new fave in the 'hood. And the sauce turned out great with the beef. 

FUNGHI ASSOLUTI INGREDIENTS:

Freshly grated Parmigiano Regiano
Breadcrumbs: fresh made bakery ones, not the canned ones filled with weird stuff. 
Dried oregano, parsley, salt, pepper 
Arugula
Olive Oil 
Balsamic Vinegar

 

METHOD:

1. Preheat oven to 425. 
2. Mix breadcrumbs and Parmigiano together - I did about half/half of each. Then add oregano, parsley salt and pepper to taste.
3. Brush mushrooms with olive oil.
4. Dip mushrooms in the bread crumb/cheese mixture and lay out on parchment on baking sheet. 
5. Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes, till crispy around edges.
6. Toss arugula with olive oil and balsamic
7. Top with the mushrooms right before serving. 

*To time with the meal, I made the mushrooms 80% of the way, then tossed them under the broiler a few minutes before serving. 

 

BABBO BOLOGNESE INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound each fresh ground veal and pork (or beef in this instance)
1/4 Pound ground pancetta (I used finely chopped)
2 medium carrots – peeled and finely chopped
2 medium onions - finely chopped
4 stalks of celery - finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic - sliced
1 can tomato paste
1 cup whole milk
1 cup dry white wine
1 tsp fresh thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
Patience

METHOD:

1. Heat the oil in heavy bottomed sauce pan. 
2. Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic and sweat till vegetables are translucent but not brown. 
3. Add the veal, pork, and pancetta and stir into the vegetables and brown over high heat.
4. Add the tomato paste, wine, milk and thyme and bring just to a boil, then simmer over medium-low heat for 1-1.5 hours – or as long as you can. 

When ready to serve with pasta, put serving of sauce in pan then add pasta with a little extra pasta water to the sauce and toss to coat. Serve, and eat immediately.