It is almost Spring, and Spring brings with it the delights of young peas, beautiful broad beans and new asparagus. To celebrate the upcoming bounties of the garden, here are four soups featuring asparagus that we want to share with you. Asparagus makes the most delightful soups – gentle yet flavoursome and very, very healthy. They can be made hot or cold to suit the weather, and thus are not restricted to Springtime but can feature in your kitchen all year.
Oh the joy of the first asparagus of the season!
You might like to browse our other Asparagus Recipes and our Cold Soups. Or explore our Early Spring dishes.
Continue reading “Four Asparagus Soups for Spring”
It is nearly Spring, and salads are all the go for our daily menu. If you have been following our salads, you will know we are mainly doing very simple salads at the moment, as life is busy and wearying. Thank goodness for that mesclun that green grocers sell – by-the-kilo varietal mixes of green salad leaves. The base of any salad is so easy! They are available year round, and you can make this salad in a nest of salad greens in the centre of a big plate. We haven’t done that today, but often serve it that way.
The salad takes beans – green or broad beans, either one, or mix them – and tosses them with asparagus and olives. A little black garlic is broken into small pieces and added.
Are you after other Bean Salads? Try Glorious Five Bean Salad, and Green Beans with Lentil Crumble.
You can browse all of our Bean Salads, and indeed, all of our many many Salad recipes. Or explore our Early Spring dishes.
Continue reading “Green or Broad Bean Salad with Asparagus, Olives and Black Garlic”
This soup, so they say, is reminiscent of the creations of the 18th century French grande cuisine. Asparagus was introduced by the Italians during the Renaissance, and was part of a change in eating habits that saw vegetables introduced into grande cuisine. Previously they had been considered the food of peasants.
This soup is thick, smooth and delicate as well as utterly delicious. It is simple to make with easily accessible ingredients. It is the perfect soup for year-round enjoyment, as it can be served cold in Summer and hot in Winter. We’ve been making this soup since the early 2000’s.
The soup can also be made quickly and easily in any high speed blender that also heats foods as it blends. I have given the instructions for making it this way as well as the usual, stove-top method. In the blender it takes around 15 mins, including cooking the asparagus. When you are using the high speed blender (mine is a Vitamix), then there are no worries about stringy stalks on the asparagus – all is blended into a smooth, perfect soup.
Similar recipes include Chilled Asparagus Soup, Gentle Asparagus Soup, and Asparagus Raita.
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Browse all of our other Asparagus Soup recipes, our Asparagus recipes, and our French dishes. Or explore our Late Autumn dishes.
Continue reading “Velouté d’asperges | Cream of Asparagus Soup”
Asparagus has that gentle flavour that makes it an ideal Spring vegetable, especially for soups. Asparagus soups do not have the heaviness of Winter soups, and as we emerge from jumpers, scarves, hats and overcoats, it is a delight to have its gentleness.
I don’t mean to imply that this soup should be kept only for Spring – indeed it will be a staple in your kitchen from Spring right through to the end of Autumn, at the times you can source decent asparagus. This recipe is a take on the recipe that appeared in Moosewood all those years ago – you Woodstock fans will know what I mean (and I am not referring to the bird!). It is a little different to the French Cream of Asparagus that we have also been making for quite a number of years.
This soup can be made in a high speed blender, one that heats the soup as it blends. While it misses the sweetness that can only be found in slowly cooked onions, sauteed asapragus and toasted roux, it is still a great option for evenings after a long day at work.
Similar recipes include the French Cream of Asparagus Soup, Chilled Asparagus Soup and Gentle Asparagus and Turmeric Soup.
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Browse all of our Asparagus dishes and all of our Soups. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.
Continue reading “Cream of Asparagus Soup”
Green lentils, brown lentils, red lentils, black lentils, yellow lentils, split peas, dried peas – the world of Western lentils is quite different to the world of Indian lentils. It presents a challenge to your pantry space if you commonly cook lentils from both cuisines. Two of the coloured lentils we adore and keep in our pantry each winter – the green French or Du Puy lentil, and the black Beluga lentil.
This salad is terrific, mixing hot green lentils with parmesan and asparagus with a dressing made from watercress and parsley. In many ways, this dish is about the parmesan rather than the lentils, dressing or asparagus. That yeasty, earthy umami flavour with the lentils and dressing as a base will have you coming back for more and more. The asparagus offers a delightful crunch.
It is an Ottolenghi recipe from his book Plenty. Currently we are cooking from his book Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry.
It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.
Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.
We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.
Continue reading “Green Puy Lentils, Asparagus and Watercress”
This raita is a very simple one – the spices are in the tadka rather than layering them as powders in the yoghurt. But my, it is delicious. The recipe was given to me by a Maharashtrian friend who was making it for a special event at their home. I do love to make recipes that are given to me, as the chain of links formed by people and recipes is something special and important. In days gone, the passing of recipes from person to person was very important – no social media, few books, rare magazines. So word of mouth was the conduit, along with the Saturday paper Ladies Section and locally printed books compiled by Women’s groups.
Enjoy this raita, it is special for several reasons.
Similar recipes include: Pomegranate Raita, Carrot Pachadi, and Bhindi Raita.
Browse all of our Raitas and all of our Asparagus dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.
Continue reading “Asparagus Raita”
This is a recipe for the days when you light your BBQ. No joke. The deal is this: after finishing your cooking on the BBQ, turn up the heat and cook as many eggplants as you can muster, until they are blackened. Allow to cool, and remove the skin. The flesh will keep well in the refrigerator for several days. During that time make any of the dozens of eggplant dips, spreads, purees, and salads – they are all delicious.
This particular recipe roasts eggplants and pairs their beautiful flesh with steamed or grilled asparagus, and dresses them with a Chinese 5-Spice Powder dressing. It is glorious for Summer weather and warmer Autumn days. Japanese eggplants are preferred, but if you do not have those, never fear – the more common globe eggplant will work just as well.
Similar recipes include Roasted Eggplant with Chickpeas and Herb Yoghurt, Roasted Eggplant with Black Garlic-Yoghurt Sauce, Chermoula Eggplant with Bulgar and Yoghurt, Steamed Thai Eggplants, Babaganoush, Grilled Eggplant Salad, and Marinated Eggplants for the BBQ.
Browse all of our Eggplant dishes and all of our Purees and Spreads. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.
Continue reading “Smoky Aubergine and Asparagus”
Oh, the hot days of summer! Chilled soups are gorgeous and great for picnics or days at the beach, or just at home. This is a creamy, wonderful, silky soup for those hottest of hot days.
Or really, make this soup at any time of the year when the weather is warm and you can sit in the sunshine. There is no need to wait for Summer.
Some similar recipes that you might enjoy are French Cream of Asparagus Soup, Cream of Asparagus Soup, Quick Tomato and Cucumber Cold Soup, Fantastic Avocado and Celery Cold Soup and Roasted Tomato and Corn Cold Soup for Summer.
You might also like our Cold Soup recipes and our Asparagus recipes. Or explore our easy Early Summer recipes.
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This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can find other recipes from that blog in the Retro Recipes.
Continue reading “Chilled Asparagus Soup”
Oh the joy of Okra, and in this dish they are quickly cooked so remain crisp and crunchy. They say that okra is good for your brain cells, so eat as many as you can! We have focused on okra recently, so there will be an ever increasing set of recipes for you to choose from.
You can also make this dish with asparagus or broccoli.
Look for okra in your local Asian and Indian shops, even Asian-owned green grocers. You will get them more cost-effectively there – about 25% of the price you might pay elsewhere.
Are you looking for other Okra dishes? Read more about Okra here. Then try Vendakka Khichadi, Crispy Okra in Yoghurt, Okra with a Cumin and Yoghurt Sauce, Sri Lankan Okra in Coconut Milk, Okra with Onions Subzi, Ladyfingers Masala, Okra Stuffed with Onions, Warm Salad of Charred Okra, and Okra with Mustard Oil.
What about other Sri Lankan dishes? Try Sri Lankan Okra Curry with Coconut Milk, Sri Lankan Long Bean Curry, Mung Dal with Coconut Milk, Crunchy Crackers, and Sakkarai Pongal.
Or browse all of our Okra recipes, and all of our Sri Lankan dishes. Or explore our Indian recipes and our Indian Essentials here. Alternatively, explore our Mid Autumn collection of dishes.
Continue reading “Sri Lankan Okra Curry”
This recipe comes from the Asparagus Growers in Victoria, and it is quite a Summer hit. It is the recipe attached to the bunches of Asparagus we buy in the shop. With the BBQ (Grill) heated to roast some eggplant, it seemed perfect to throw the Asparagus on too. The asparagus spears are coated in a yummy dressing with cumin and coriander powder before being quickly grilled on the BBQ hotplate. Straight to the table from there, it is a quick and easy recipe.
AND we put the leftover oil-lemon juice-spice mixture to good use in the Grilled Eggplant with Tahina (the reason the eggplants were being roasted). A perfectly timed coincidence.
Are you after other Asparagus Recipes? Try Asparagus Risotto, Asparagus Pesto, and Asparagus Soup.
Are you looking for BBQ’d Recipes? Try Grilled Pecorino in Vine Leaves, Stuffed Mushrooms, Spicy Potatoes, and Marinated Eggplant.
Feel free to browse all of our Asparagus recipes and all of our BBQ recipes. Or take some time to explore our Late Summer dishes.
Continue reading “BBQ’d Spiced Asparagus”