It’s just beginning to warm up in Colorado Springs, but I’m already balking at long-cooking times and big plates of hot food.
Blooming milkweed with swallowtail in my yard. Read about it here.
Or maybe it’s time for Dave, my trusty sous and husband, to cook on the grill and give me a break.
While cold soups aren’t everyone’s cup of tea (with the exception of the ubiquitous, yet still glamorous gazpacho), this one might be soup to create converts once the weather heats up. For one thing, it’s a tad spiked and that makes lots of people attracted and sold. For another, calorie and health-wise, my Whole Lemon-Asparagus Soup With Wine is about like eating a cooked salad; the entire pot is vegetables. The thing that makes it a bit outside the regular old asparagus soup box is that I cook a whole lemon in the soup and then purée it. There’s then a piquant note you almost can’t place, but are so glad is there. A perky sigh. A summer squint. It’s a smiling soup.
(Click here for the recipe for my Mediterranean Chopped Tuna Salad below.)
Totally vegan (without the Parmesan cheese garnish) and also gluten-free, this will hit the spot of everyone who walks in out of the heat, no holds barred. Make it ahead so that it’s well-chilled, serve it from a big Kool-Aid pitcher and provide a few different toppings so folks can make it their very own. It’s plenty for a whole meal (maybe a little whole wheat baguette on the side), but is beautiful as a first course for a larger meal, such as: Salmon Salad with Broccolini and Avocado Mayonnaise. (below)
Eat cold soup at home on the patio, on a picnic at the beach, or even in tonight’s hotel room on the road; it’ll be a welcome addition to the day.
Last thing: if you need leftovers for the rest of the week, you have something scrumptious, healthy, and happy to chow down if there’s any left. This keeps well (4 days in the refrigerator and 4-6 months in the freezer) as there’s not much to spoil in that pot.
SERVING: For grins and giggles, serve it in big wine glasses with ice tea spoons for a first course or in beautiful deep bowls with grilled bread for an entree that will keep you healthy, full, and happy. Try this:
COLD WHOLE LEMON-ASPARAGUS SOUP
16+ generous servings. Halves easily.
Big pot full! Make a day ahead so it really has time for to chill thoroughly and for flavors to marry. Freezes well and can be served hot another time if you’d rather. Too hot to cook on the stove? Throw the whole shebang in the slow cooker after first sautéing the vegetables on the stovetop. Cook on low in the slow cooker for 8 hours or so until tender. Purée, cool, and chill.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Crushed red pepper
- 4 small yellow onions, chopped
- 1 large shallot, chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, cored, and chopped
- 6 carrots, trimmed and chopped (no need to peel)
- 6 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- Large handful fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon each: dried thyme, dill, and basil
- Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup dry white wine (can sub vegetable broth)
- 8 cups vegetable broth, gluten-free
- 3 cups water
- 4 pounds asparagus, trimmed and chopped
- 1 large white potato, peeled, and chopped
- Hot sauce
- 1 well-washed lemon, cut into eighths and seeded–including peel
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for garnish OR 1 cup chopped fresh basil for vegan version (Optional ideas for garnishes: crispy garlic croutons, sliced green onions, grated Cheddar cheese, minced fresh tomatoes or cucumbers… … … …)
In a 10 or 12-quart kettle, warm the oil along with a generous pinch of crushed red pepper over medium heat for 30 seconds. (Burns easily.) Add onions, shallot, fennel, carrots, and celery, garlic, and parsley; season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, thyme, dill, and basil. Cook for 10 minutes or so, stirring regularly until softened.
Pour in white wine and stir. Bring to a boil; reduce to simmer for a few minutes until wine is nearly evaporated. Pour in broth and water; bring to boil again and add asparagus and potato. Reduce to simmer and cover; cook until all vegetables are nearly tender. Add lemon wedges and let cook until everything truly is very tender. Add a few drops of hot sauce; taste and adjust seasonings.
Purée using a handheld blender or very carefully in batches in the food processor or blender (hold top of blender down tightly with a towel). Taste and adjust seasonings again. Refrigerate over night. Taste once more and adjust seasonings, if needed. Serve cold garnished with cheese or basil (or use other options.)
PRINTABLE RECIPE: Recipes-Soups-Cold Whole Lemon Asparagus with Wine
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Sing a new song,