Asparagus Soup

Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. But I really only prepare it one way, so I was excited to see the article “Asparagus, 10 Ways” in the spring edition of Cook Fresh magazine. 2 of the 10 I’ve done before and 5 of the remaining 7 were dogearred. One of those 5 was a soup. I don’t tend to think “soup!” when it’s spring and summer, but this one was a simple option for a great weeknight dinner.

The recipe indicated it would serve “8 as a first course.” I figured I could halve it and it’d be perfect dinner for two; simply serve with with some great crusty bread or garlic bread. Surprisingly, there was a tiny portion left for lunch the next day. My husband gave it to Treat on my first outing without the kids since the move. I’m told he quite enjoyed it!

Asparagus Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • heaping 1/2 C sliced leeks
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut in 1 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 1/4 C chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 C water
  • 1/8 C heavy cream
  • squeeze of lemon
  • fresh parsley

Steps:

  1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and garlic, season with salt. Give the leeks a quick stir, reduce the heat to low, and cover. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the mustard seeds, 1 tsp Kosher salt, asparagus, broth, and water. Bring the soup to a simmer over medium heat and cook uncovered until tender, 10-15 minutes.
  3. Remove soup from the heat and puree with an immersion blender, or carefully transfer to a blender.
  4. Stir in the cream, lemon, and S+P to taste. Garnish with parsley.

*This recipe is modified from CookFresh Spring 2016*

Asparagus Soup  Sew You Think You Can Cook

#FoodieExtravaganza: American Pie

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It’s the first Wednesday of February and I’m taking a quick break from the #FreshTastyValentines event to celebrate “American Pies” with the #FoodieExtravaganza crew. My blogging friend Wendy over at A Day in the Life on the Farm is hosting today.

I’m not going to lie, I didn’t even look at what an “American” pie would be. All that comes to mind is apple, or maybe cherry. Pies aren’t my favorite dessert. I have an issue with warm fruit. My number one pie is Key Lime – cool and tart! Instead, I decided to go the savory route today and make a side dish that could work nicely with a brunch spread.

Yet another confession: I wasn’t happy with the photography. I struggle immensely with photographing cheese. AND the recipe actually called for gruyere, not cheddar. I accidentally deleted gruyere from my grocery list (it was part of this shopping fiasco) so I had to use what I had – cheddar. Which worked quite well, (Hey, cheddar is more American so maybe my dish does qualify after all!) but provided that yellow/orange tint. I was going to “give up” and try a different pie. But that was an even bigger fail! The only pie dish I have wasn’t large enough for the recipe I was making and everything had to be tossed into a dutch oven instead – delicious, but not pretty, and definitely not a pie. (Because it was a huge hit with Firecracker and myself, I will be trying it again with either a new pie dish or simply halving the recipe so it fits, so stay tuned for that one!)

So here I am sharing a fantastic recipe with mediocre pictures.

Cheddar Leek Potato Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 bunch leeks, thinly sliced
  • 1 large Russet potato, thinly sliced (I used a mandoline)
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 C half-and-half
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 C shredded cheddar cheese

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a pie dish with the thawed puff pastry. Trim and patch as needed to fit.
  2. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the leeks until cooked.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the egg and half-and-half.
  4. In another small bowl whisk together the thyme, garlic powder, pepper, and salt.
  5. Evenly layer 1/3 of the sliced potatoes in the pie crust, top with 1/3 of the leeks, 1/3 of the spice blend, and 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat. For the final layer: place potatoes, leeks, and spices, pour the half-and-half over top of the pie, and top with remaining cheese.
  6. Bake 60-70 minutes, or until golden, bubbly, and a knife can cut smoothly through the potatoes.

*This recipe is adapted from Karen at http://www.karenskitchenstories.com/2015/03/potato-leek-pie.html*

cheddar potato leek pie for #FoodieExtravaganza from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other pies:

BLT Pie by Georgina of G’Gina’s Flavors Palatte

Cheeseburger Pie by Kathleen at Fearlessly Creative Mammas

Grapefruit Pie by Rebekah at Making Miracles

Ham and Broccoli Quiche by Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm

Homegrown Blackberry Pie by Carlee of Cooking with Carlee

No Bake Peanut Butter Pie by Lauren of From Gate to Plate

Peaches and Cream Pie by Elaine at Cookin and Craftin

Penne Pie by Terri at Our Good Life

Red Velvet Pudding Pie by Teri of The Freshman Cook

Tar Heel Pie by Tara of Tara’s Multicultural Table

The Impossible Coconut Pie by Stacy of Food Lust People Love

Walnut Crumble-Topped Apple Tart by Caroline at Caroline’s Cooking

Blogger CLUE: Spring Green Risotto

blogger CLUE

Today is my first month posting with Blogger CLUE. Much like the game, this blogger society involves secrecy, fun, challenge and cooperation with the other game playing members. The good news about this, however, is that in the end, everyone’s a winner. All of the participating bloggers are assigned a blog to find, pick, and make a recipe. But the twist with this group is that there’s a theme! 

This month I was assigned A Spoonful of Thyme and had the task of finding a recipe utilizing spring vegetables. I was on a personal mission to use asparagus. It’s my favorite spring vegetable, and while we do enjoy it year round, it’s always better in season! I found three contenders: Spring Green RisottoPasta with Proscuitto, Asparagus, and Peas; and Warm Salad with Grilled Asparagus.

I chose the risotto for a few reasons: I already had mascarpone in my fridge, which is very rare, I’ve been wanting to try fennel, and my husband had been asking for risotto for a few weeks. Win – win – win!

We enjoyed this risotto for Easter supper! My 9 month old even enjoyed it! I wasn’t sure how he’d handle the peas but they didn’t phase him. Which makes me very excited. It’s been hard getting him to eat vegetables – other than sweet potato.

I made a couple changes to the recipe: by using what I had I combined chicken stock and vegetable stock to have enough liquid and instead of blanching the asparagus and adding it later, I chopped it up to about the size of peas and added it with the leeks and fennel.

Spring Green Risotto

Ingredients:

  • 5 C stock (chicken, vegetable, or a combination of both)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1/2 lb asparagus, diced
  • 1 1/2 C arborio rice
  • 2/3 C white wine
  • 1 1/4 C frozen peas, thawed
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 C mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 C grated parmesan cheese

Steps:

  1. In a pot bring the stock to a simmer.
  2. In a dutch oven, melt butter in olive oil over medium high heat. Saute leeks, fennel, and asparagus for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the rice, stirring to coat in the veggies, cook a minute or two. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Once the wine has been absorbed add the stock a ladleful at a time. Stir often and add more stock after the previous addition has been absorbed.
  4. At the halfway point, add the peas and lemon zest. Season to taste with S+P.
  5. When rice is creamy remove from heat. (Note: You might not use all of the stock, although I did.)
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and mascarpone. Stir into the risotto along with the parmesan cheese.

*This recipe is adapted from Kate at http://aspoonfulofthyme.blogspot.com/2010/05/two-fer-one-grilled-herb-shrimp-and.html*

spring green risotto | Sew You Think You Can CookHere’s a list of the other players of Blogger CLUE this month:

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