Monday, May 31, 2010


Sunday: spicy asparagus soup; sweet potato, asparagus, and parmesan bread pudding; cherry crumble

This was supposed to be a simple supper that kind of got out of control. My plan was to modify this recipe to use sweet potatoes and asparagus. We've been buying sweet potatoes at the farmer's market (this was the first year they were available); they are by far the most flavorful sweet potatoes I've ever eaten. (Note to self: next time I'm living somewhere with real garden space, grow sweet potatoes!!) And of course asparagus is way more spring-like than butternut squash is.

I roasted the sweet potatoes and then briefly sauted the asparagus before adding it to the pudding. (I was just using up some of the bread-based odds-and-ends from our freezer.) I bought too much asparagus, though, and so I had lots of asparagus (asparagi? asparaguses'?) ends AND more tips than I needed. I've been thinking of making asparagus broth, so I figured I'd give it a try and use the results as the base of a creamed asparagus soup.

I took the ends and simmered them in water to cover with a parmesan rind. After about 40 minutes, I strained out the solids. I sauteed some spring onions and some red pepper flakes in a little olive oil and then added the extra asparagus, which I cooked (lid on) for another 3-4 minutes. I added it back into the warm stock and simmered it all together for another 4 or 5 minutes. Then I pureed it (with an immersion blender). It was spicy, but, with apologies to Eugenia Bone, I didn't love the stock - maybe because I didn't follow her method. Better than Bouillon (chicken-flavored) to the rescue! With that added bit of salt and flavor, the soup was delicious. I think if I had started out simmering the asparagus stalks in chicken stock, that might also have done the trick.

This was the first week that we had cherries at the farmer's market. We just bought a few handfuls, so for dessert we pitted them and improvised a crumble, too.

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