asparagus and mortadella
I had a meeting at 7pm. That always makes for an awkward dinner. Carol gets home about 6:20 and I have to leave about 6:30, so maybe we can work in a first course together.
After lunch, I made some asparagus soup. When we have asparagus for dinner, the first step is to snap off the bottoms. I’ve taken to saving those to make asparagus soup and have developed a fabulous go-to recipe based on a stephencooks.com recipe. He uses “the good part” of 12 spears and garnishes with a tip or two. I use whatever I have, in this case about 15 bottoms.
Cut the asparagus into one-inch pieces. Cook the asparagus in chicken or vegetable broth, uncovered for 30 minutes.
Should have used a smaller pot. In this pot, the asparagus cooked nearly dry and I had to add more broth… no big deal.
While that is going on, make a batch of Tomato Coulis.(included with the SC asparagus soup recipe)
Take two medium tomatoes and put in a blender. (I used four of my smallish San Marzano tomatoes home-canned last fall.) Add 1 clove garlic, 2 teaspoons olive oil, 3 anchovy fillets, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper and puree at high speed for 3 minutes.
Now 3 minutes is a really long time when you’re standing looking at a blender whirring at high speed. I have pureed this for 3 minutes and have also pureed for 1 1/2 minutes. Didn’t see much difference.
The tomato coulis. I love it. It’s tangy and flavorful with just enough heat. I use it for lots of things, as you shall see.
Back to the asparagus… put your cooked asparagus and broth in the scraped out but not washed blender. Add 1/2 cup unflavored Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons of the Tomato Coulis, salt and pepper or hot sauce to taste. (Those are the amounts if you start with 12 spears of asparagus, obviously, since I start with a random amount of asparagus, I vary the amounts of other stuff, keeping them in proportion.) Puree at high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until the soup is smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
So, here’s the first course; Asparagus Soup garnished with Tomato Coulis and parsley. Yum.
So I went off to my meeting and Carol had herself a hot dog for dinner (too bad there was only one in the house).
Inspired by our Reno antipasto, when I got home around 8:30, I got out mortadella and sliced cheese (happened to be “baby Swiss,” whatever that is… its what Carol takes for her lunches).
Now that’s just right.