Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring Soup (and Awards)

cooWell, first I want to say a big, "Aw Shucks" and thanks to Miranda, better known and loved as The Blonde Duck for bestowing upon me this award. She is an incredibly talented, witty, and spirited writer who really knows how to enjoy food. The award is for our blogging sisters who show great attitude/gratitude.
The Rules for the recipient:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate up to 10 blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog, or sending them an email.
5. Remember to link to the person from whom you received your award

Well, I can definitely add some great bloggers to this one.

1. Sue, whom I think of as my guiding star in the blog world
2. Emily, who still says chipper and charming despite a couple of recent setbacks. I know she's going to make it big some day and when she does, I plan to knock back margaritas and eat cupcakes with her.
3. Donna, I discovered her blog only recently and wished I had done so sooner. She's not just a heckuva cook. She is probably one of the few people I know with a dirtier mind than mine (If any of my IRL friends are reading this, yes, it's true, but there is room in the gutter for this one to join me.)
4. Heather, who is taking on awesomeness beyond the kitchen
5. Melissa, who has found her voice and taking her own path on her bogging journey.
6. Susan, who has had her share of hard times recently, but still comes out with a great attitude and delicious recipes.

Speaking of recipes, it's time for the cooking segment of this post. Unfortunately my camera battery tends to go dead without warning as it did the night I made this soup. This made my blog a little under-illustrated today. I had hoped to get photos of the process, but all I could do was take a photo of the finished product once the battery was charged.

It's spring time and this time of year is associated with certain vegetables. One of them is asparagus. The other is spring onions. (There are also peas, but we are not going to talk about those.)

I discovered spring onions last year and I'm so into them now. I love their flavor. I also think they're very pretty. I wanted a photo of them for this blog, but alas, that cannot be.

Anyway, I wanted to come up with a creative way to use them. I thought about how often soup is made from onions (dark broth) or leeks (creamy broth) and thought it might be fun to make a spring onion soup of my own.

I wanted a nice creamy soup, rather than a dark, heavy French-Onion-Soup-style soup. The problem with that is spring is here and the layers of clothing are going to start shedding soon. Eventually it will be July and I'll be on vacation, showing off more flesh than people want to look at. Cream means mega-calories. I decided to take the advice of many diet fascists who say that one should try evaporated skim milk in place of cream in recipes. It worked pretty well. I'm not sure how much good it did in keeping the soup slim when it also contained prosciutto and butter.

To add to the vegetable quotient, I added pieces of chopped, roasted asparagus. I'm a little weird this way. I could have simply sauteed the asparagus with the onions and pureed it all togehter. I chose not to because I really only like my aspragus roasted. Having the pieces of aspragus gave me a little something solid to bite into anyway.

I'm sorry my soup was such an ugly color. It tasted pretty good. It really did.

Spring Onion Soup with Roasted Asparagus

3 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 Tbl butter
1 quart chicken broth
1 can evaporated skim milk
1 bunch asparagus
1 Tbl oil
Salt and pepper
4 slices prosciutto (optional)

Cook onions in butter until they begin to soften. Add broth and simmer for about 30 minutes until onions are really soft and the soup mellows out.

Meanwhile heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss asparagus with oil, salt, and pepper and spread out on a cookie sheet. Roast for 10-15 minutes. Cut into 1" pieces.

If using prosciutto, place in a pan and gently cook over medium heat until crisp.

Add milk to soup. At this point you can either place this in a blender in batches to puree or else blend with an immersion blender. Be careful as milk can get foamy. You don't need to make it totally smooth.

Add asparagus to soup. Crumble in prosciutto and add that in as well. Serve and enjoy.


Anonymous said...

congrats on the award!
gosh...that soup looks soooo creamy and satisfying and comforting! which is perfect, since apparantly there are crazy snow storms still going on over in the mid-west!

Heather said...

Thank you so much for the thoughtful nod, Rachel! Your award is much deserved, and I'm flattered that you include me among such great bloggers.

It's funny, I was totally thinking about cream of asparagus soup when I made my pasta yesterday. It was just too nice and sunny in Portland for soup. :P

The Blonde Duck said...

You deserved it!

And please, I'm not a talented crafter. I just get a little nuts around construction paper and glue and ribbons and sequins...

It's like that quote in Clueless. "(It's) a total Monet. Looks good far away but a mess up close." That's generally what my stuff looks like!

Thanks for the kind words. :)

Sara said...

This sounds delicious, I haven't made any asparagus soup yet this year!

Sue said...

AW SHUCKS to you!!! Thank you so much for this wonderful award. I'd like to thank my agent, my manager, my...oh sorry, that's a different award. I just want to thank YOU. I love your blog. I love your thoughtful visits to my blog and I love hearing what you've cooked for folks, plus all the other sundry stuff we get to read about. I'll think long and hard about whom to pass this on to.

Plus, what a great soup! 99% of the time, I roast asparagus now, not to mention green beans and broccoli. I'm going to give you a magical way to make a cream soup without ANY DAIRY. This is from Julia's Way To Cook. She adds ½ cup of long grain white rice to every 8 cups of stock going into the soup. Cook it until the rice is REALLY soft - 25 minutes plus, which is how long you’ll be cooking the soup anyway. Blend (or immersion blend) the soup and it's a miracle. It makes it cream-like without the cream. It's like those wonderful French puréed vegetable soups. I add a bit less rice than Julia says, maybe 2 tbls. for every quart of stock, which is half of what she says. But try it her way the first time. And thanks again. Mwwwaaahhh! :-*

Bellini Valli said...

Congratulations on your award and for starting the mood for Spring:D

melissa said...

Yeah, the prosciutto and butter kind of balance that out, I would think hehe. I believe you when you say it was good. Sometimes blended vegetable soups just don't photograph well, I think.

And thank you so much for the award. I really do appreciate it and you definitely brightened my day. I will repost soon.

jesse said...

It's not an ugly colour!!! I want to dip my whole face in that bowl. Congratulations on the award!

Emily said...

No, no, it's not an ugly color! This soup looks delicious. I bet the asparagus/prosciutto combo was great. Fitting for spring.

Margaritas and cupcakes?! YES!!! Count me in! When?

Thanks for the award. That is too kind of you.

Donna-FFW said...

AWWWW, thank you so very much for the award.. you brightened my day.. it means so much to me:)I am so glad you have a dirty mind.. Fun fun fun!! Thanks again and the soup sounds terrific!

The Blonde Duck said...

The eggs had treats in them!

Bunny said...

Congratulations on your award! Don't you just love it when the camera dies on you! You got a good picture of the soup, it looks and sounds so good!

Anonymous said...

thanks for your comment! that's so interesting that you did not like pizza or melted cheese as a child! but I'm glad you discovered your love for cheese now, as I believe everyone should deserve all the wonderful glory of cheese! heh heh!

Lo said...

Congrats on the award... and way to pick such worthy bloggers to pass it on!

Been craving cream of asparagus soup. I love the spring/green onion addition.

The Blonde Duck said...

I hope you had a happy Easter!

Michelle @ Find Your Balance Health said...

I keep seeing spring onions but havent' tried them yet. Glad you gave it a go, sounds like you're pretty adventurous. Not a pea lover though huh?

Anonymous said...

Onions are welcome anytime. This soup sounds like a keeper.

Sue said...

Finally, I came up with a list of my own. I hope you approve. Thank you again for the lovely award.