Sunday, March 25, 2007

I Can't Believe it's Vegan: Potato-Asparagus Soup

To be honest, asparagus is not one of my favorite vegetables. Maybe it's the whole "it makes your pee smell funny" thing. Or the fact that pretty much only half of a stalk is edible.

But asparagus symbolizes that Spring has arrived, at least in the Supermarket. Of course as I post this, there are snow clouds overhead. Asparagus reminds me of flowers (they're related to the lily). I like that.

So I found a recipe in my "Vegan with a Vengeance" cookbook simply titled "Potato-Asparagus Soup." Pretty much all the main ingredients were asparagus, potatoes, and an onion, along with some vegetable broth. It looked easy.

Psych!

This soup seriously took two hours to make from start to finish. Why? Perhaps it was the fact I had to peel a dozen potatoes and then cut them into 1 inch cubes and cook them before I could start the rest of the soup. It was annoying to say the least.

Potato-Asparagus Soup from "Vegan with a Vengeance" by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Serves 6

Ingredients
3 pounds of russet potatoes, peeled, cut into one inch chunks
1 pound of asparagus, rough ends discarded, tips cut into 2 inch pieces, lower part cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, cut into 1/2 inch dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
A few dashes of black pepper

4 cups vegetable broth, or 2 bouillon cubes dissolved in 4 cups of water
2 bay leaves
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

Directions
1. Place potatoes in a stockpot and cover with cold water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Add the asparagus, boil for 3 minutes, drain, and set aside.
2. Rinse out same pot, and then saute the onion in olive oil for 5 to 5 minutes; add garlic, salt and black pepper,; and saute for 2 more minutes.
3. Add the broth and bay leaves, boil for ten minutes, discard the bay leaves.
4. Add the potatoes and asparagus, heth through, then puree three-quarters of the soup in a blender or food processor.
5. Reheat if necessary.
6. Add a squeeze of lemon and serve garnished with fresh dill.

To be honest, I made a few mistakes while making this. #1 I didn't cut the asparagus into the right size pieces, but it didn't matter. #2 I accidentally pureed the whole thing. Whoops.

There was not a picture accompanying the soup, so I have no idea what it was supposed to look like, but by pureeing all of it, I turned it into a thick greenish soup. It looks like pea soup but smells like grass. And it doesn't taste bad. I even ate some cold this morning. Though, because of it's thickness, I'll likely add water or soymilk to it so that it goes down.



I won't be making it again. It took too long. But I will say the best part of making the soup was using my new immersion blender. I didn't have to worry about spillage when transferring it into a blender.

Finally, an update on the lemon-poppy seed muffins: I made 3 dozen last night, including a batch of whole wheat ones that were really tasty.

PS- I had leftover soup for lunch and this time added vegan sour cream, fakin' bacon, and chives, and it was a zillion times better.

Photos to come soon.

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