Showing posts with label asparagus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label asparagus. Show all posts

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Giada's Asparagus Soup with Herbed Goat Cheese for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays

After two Sundays with bean-ful soups, plus a vegan chili added in mid-week, I am stepping away from the legumes to make Giada De Laurentiis's Asparagus Soup with Herbed Goat Cheese from Food Network. It just sounded good and I am a sucker for a good topping/stir in and had some goat cheese I bought for a recipe I didn't end up making that needed to be used up.

I made a few small changes to the recipe--just adding garlic and a little spice, not enough to detract from the asparagus and basil but enough to enhance it. I also stirred in some lemon juice at the end because I wanted the bright notes.

Asparagus Soup with Herbed Goat Cheese
Slightly Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis via Food Network
(Makes 4 to 6 Servings --1/2 cup)

Goat Cheese:
1/2 cup (4 oz) goat cheese, at room temperature
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
vegetable oil cooking spray

2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large leek, white and light green part only, finely sliced (I used 2 leeks)
(I added 2 cloves garlic, minced)
(I added 1 tsp celery salt & 1 tsp dried basil)
4 cups low sodium broth (chicken or veg)
2 lbs medium asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
(I added 2 tsp fresh lemon juice)

Goat cheese: Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Using a fork, in a small bowl, combine the goat cheese and basil until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Using a 1/2-ounce cookie scoop or a round tablespoon measure sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray, scoop the goat cheese into balls and arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Soup: In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring constantly until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. (I added the garlic, celery salt and dried basil and sauteed for another minute here.) Add the broth, asparagus and basil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the asparagus is tender, about 15 minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. (I stirred in two teaspoons of lemon juice here.) Keep the soup warm over low heat.

To serve: Ladle the soup into shallow bowls and garnish with the herbed goat cheese. (I also garnished with shaved asparagus and a couple of basil leaves.) 

Cook's Note: The soup can also be pureed by ladling, in batches, into a food processor or blender and blended until smooth.

Notes/Results: A rich-tasting soup with good flavor on its own but it is the herbed goat cheese balls that make it shine. I am for putting herbed goat cheese balls in/on everything--soups and salads, pasta... ;-) If you wanted to make it vegan, you could use a vegan cream cheese in place of the goat cheese. I like the additional flavor I added to the soup with the garlic, spice and lemon--I felt like the soup would have lacked a bit without it. I meant to buy bread to go with the soup but forgot so I served it with cracked pepper water crackers for a light lunch before some tuna pasta salad. This soup is easy to make and pretty enough to make for a party or luncheon. I would make it again with my changes.

Linking up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where it's our April IHCC Potluck--our chance to cook any recipe from any of our IHCC chefs.

 We have some great friends and dishes in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's take a look!

Amber of The Hungry Mountaineer is back with Hot and Sour Soup and says, "You can add your favorite protein to this soup, whether it be chicken, shrimp or tofu but I prefer to add leftover rotisserie chicken, like this one I am completely addicted to from Sprout’s. No joke, last week when I was driving home up our winding mountain highways and was stuck behind a rock slide, I inhaled like half a rotisserie chicken while stuck in traffic, for my dinner and it was beyond delicious and super healthy! If you do buy the rotisserie chicken then there is an extra step to this soup."

Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen shares Ghorme Sabzi --Iranian Herb Stew with Kidney Beans and says, "I know the green bobbing on the top looks like green olives, but its actually dried limes.  I showcased it early on in the month In My Kitchen blog post if your interested in seeing what it looks like in dried form.  Its the first time I have used dried limes in cooking which was interesting, they certainly do impart an interesting flavour that I don't think would have been captured by lime zest or even lime juice."

Debra of Eliot's Eats made a gorgeous sandwich with a filling of Guacamole Chicken Salad with Pomegranate inspired by her latest review book. She said, "Chicken salad appears in the novel as a take-out meal that Betsy’s friend brings to her (as Betsy totally spaced on a luncheon date). That chicken salad had grapes and nuts.  I decided to go a bit “off the farm” and make mine a bit different. ... Some friends were recently talking about their recipes for an avocado chicken salad, so I decided that this post would give me the opportunity to try my own recipe. ... The most interesting guacamole I’ve ever had was at Elote in Tulsa and featured pomegranate hence my addition to this mix.  Plus I love the pop of color."

Thanks to all who joined me at Souper Sundays this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on the post you link up to be included.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Char-Grilled Baby Lettuce with Asparagus & Feta, Served with Grilled Opah

I am always happy to find a good quick recipe to get on the table at the end of a long week. This easy grill-pan recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall of Char-Grilled Baby Lettuce with Asparagus & Feta, could easily be a meal on its own for me but I had some local opah (moon fish) fillets and some cherry tomatoes that needed to be used up so I put it all together for a tasty and not-too-heavy dinner, that I was able to cook in one pot for the asparagus and one grill pan.

Hugh's recipe calls for goat cheese and we have lovely local goat cheeses that I buy often, but tonight I happened to have leftover mild sheep milk feta in the fridge so I used that instead. The asparagus, baby romaine, cherry tomatoes, and opah are all local. 

Hugh says, "Char-grilling is usually associated with meat, but it works wonders with vegetables, too, caramelizing their natural sugars and leaving them tender and deliciously bittersweet. I like to use a firm goat's cheese here, such as Woolsery English Goat, but any firm, not-too-pungent cheese would work well, or go for good old Parmesan."

Char-Grilled Baby Lettuce with Asparagus & Feta
Slightly Adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
(Serves 4)

About 1 lb asparagus
4 little gem or other baby lettuces
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve

salt and freshly ground black pepper
around 3 oz firm, not-too-strong goat's cheese, or cheese of choice

Bring a pan of salted water to a boil. Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and drop the spears into the boiling water. Blanch for a minute or two (depending on thickness), until al dente, then drain.
Meanwhile, cut the lettuces in half down the middle, leaving them joined at the root end. Put in a large bowl with the drained asparagus, add two tablespoons of olive oil, season generously and toss to coat, working the oil and seasoning into the lettuces a little with your hands.
Heat a ridged griddle pan or heavy-based frying pan until very hot. Add the lettuce halves cut-side down, cook for two minutes until golden brown and wilted on the base, then turn over and cook for a minute or two more. Transfer to a large, warmed serving platter.
Now add the asparagus to the pan and cook for about four minutes, turning occasionally, until tender and patched with brown. Arrange on the platter with the lettuce.
Thinly slice the cheese (or, if it's particularly crumbly, crumble it) and arrange over the griddled veg. Trickle with a little more oil and serve at once. Add some bread and this makes a great starter, but it's also a delicious side dish.

Notes/Results: This was such a good dinner! It was quick and easy to make--a pot for blanching the asparagus--needed in this case as the local asparagus was quite thick, and one grill pan for the lettuce, then the asparagus, and then the opah. I kept the opah simple--just salt, pepper, and a tiny sprinkle of smoked paprika grilled to perfection and served with lemon. It worked well with the sweet cherry tomatoes and the baby lettuce-asparagus mix. The grilling brings out the sweetness of the baby lettuce and gives it and the asparagus so much good flavor--complemented by the slightly salty but mild feta that gets nicely softened by the warm vegetables. I will happily make this again. 

I'm linking this recipe up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is Get to Grilling! You can see what everyone made by checking out the picture links on the post.

I'm also linking it up to the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Happy Weekend!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Grilled Asparagus and Veggies with Garlic and Anchovy Dressing

Summer is on the horizon and it's already causing me to want to up my green veggie intake--but sometimes veggies can be a bit boring. That's when you fire up the grill pan and throw the ingredients for Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Garlic and Anchovy Dressing into the blender. It works as a starter, or even a light meal on a humid night.

I made the dressing primarily to go with some asparagus, but tossed a small zucchini, some baby lettuce, and a few skewers of sweet little tomatoes onto the grill pan for some variety. Delicious with a glass of crisp white wine.

River Cottage says, "This punchy anchovy-based dressing – similar to the Italian classic bagna cauda – is a year-round favourite and easy to whip up from the sort of ingredients you’re likely to have in your store-cupboard and fridge. It’s a superb accompaniment to all kinds of veg – raw or cooked. We love it as a dip for crunchy summer crudités, but also serve it as a dressing for steamed purple sprouting broccoli, calabrese, cauliflower and kale. It will keep happily in a jar in the fridge for at leas"t a couple of weeks. It will probably separate, but can be re-emulsified by shaking or whisking."

Crudités with Garlic and Anchovy Dressing
From Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall via
(Serves 4)

50g (1.75 oz) anchovy fillets, drained
150ml (5 oz) olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled

leaves from a sprig of thyme
a few basil leaves (optional)
1/2 small red chilli, or a pinch of dried chilli flakes
1 tsp Dijon or English mustard
2 tsp cider vinegar or wine vinegar

a few twists of black pepper

For the dressing, simply blitz all the ingredients together in a blender until completely smooth. Or, if you are using fresh chilli, you might prefer to chop it very finely by hand, then stir it into the blitzed dressing to give it a little texture.

Leave the dressing for half an hour or so, to allow the flavours to mingle and develop, then transfer to a large bowl.

Prepare the crudités: halve or quarter lengthways the lettuce hearts and larger baby vegetables, such as courgettes and carrots. Leave the smaller ones, such as pea pods and radishes, whole. Arrange them on a platter and serve with the dressing.

Notes/Results: Yum! If you like garlic, you will enjoy this dip. And if you are afraid of anchovies, don't be--they blend right in, just adding delicious Caesar salad dressing-like flavor to the dressing. Although it would be delicious with raw veggies, lightly grilled veggies are just so much more appealing. I just cooked them all on one grill pan, lightly brushed with olive oil until tender crisp on the zucchini and asparagus, lightly browned on the baby romaine, and until just softened on the baby tomatoes. If you want to make it more of a meal you could add some quartered hard-boiled eggs, steamed root vegetables, and/or chunks of poached fish and it would be perfectly delightful. Quick, easy and really good. I will happily make this again and use whatever veggies I have on hand.

It's maybe not the "pubbiest" of bar snacks, but I am linking this yummy starter that pairs well with wine up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is Pub Grub. You can see what everyone made by checking out the picture links on the post.

Happy Aloha Friday!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Asparagus Bisque with Fresh Dill: A Taste of Spring for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

It's been a really rainy, gray weekend for  being on the cusp of May. I even had socks and a light blanket on last night. If the weather isn't quite up to springtime level where you are, try making a pot of this Asparagus Bisque with Fresh Dill. Besides the asparagus and dill, it's full of leeks, fennel, and lemon in a flavor combination that positively sings of spring.

It's also from my "soup bible"--Love Soup by Anna Thomas. I adore this classic soup cookbook and I can always find a bit of soupish inspiration or a recipe whenever I open its cover. In this case I had some local leeks and asparagus was on sale, so when I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it. I added a little sheep's milk feta on top, just to enhance all of that wonderful flavor.

Anna Thomas says, "This soup came about from a moment of spring bounty. I was excited about the asparagus and fresh dill at the farmers market that I came home with too much of both, and an asparagus festival ensued. In most of my soups I use onions, but in this one I use only leeks and fennel to support the asparagus , along with some lemon zest and all that fresh dill. It has a pure spring flavor, and although I add only a tiny amount of cream, the texture is velvety and luxurious.

Asparagus Bisque
From Love Soup by Anna Thomas
(Serves 6)

1 1/4 lbs. green asparagus
2 medium leeks
1 large fennel bulb
zest and juice of one lemon (I used another 1/2 of juice) 
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp arborio rice
1 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
2 to 2 1/2 cups light vegetable broth
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh dill, plus more to taste
white pepper
cayenne to taste
2-3 Tbsp heavy cream (optional)
shaved asparagus, extra fresh dill, and feta cheese to garnish, optional

Using a vegetable peeler or sharp knife, thinly peel the bottom 2 or 3 inches of the asparagus stalks, then snap off the toughest bits at the bottoms (peeling the bottoms first allows you to keep much more of the stalk.) Cut the stalks into 1-inch pieces; you should have about 4 cups.

Wash the leeks and chop the white and light green parts only. Trim, wash, and chop the fennel bulb. Grate the zest of the lemon, making sure to get only the yellow and none of the white pith.

Melt the butter in a large skillet or soup pot and cook the leeks over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until they are soft and begin to take on a hint of color. Add the asparagus, fennel, lemon zest, rice, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. 
Turn the heat down and simmer uncovered for about half an hour, or until all the vegetables are tender.

Add 2 cups of vegetable broth, the dill, and a pinch of each pepper and cayenne. Puree the soup in a blender, in batches, until it is perfectly smooth. (I usually use an immersion blender for pureed soups, but asparagus is fibrous, so you might want to use that blender in order to get it really smooth.) Add broth if the soup seems too thick. Return the pureed soup to a clean pot and stir in a couple of teaspoons of fresh lemon juice, more if you like.

Bring the soup back to a simmer, taste it ,and season with tiny amounts of pepper, and more salt if needed. Stir in the cream if you wish.

Notes/Results: It helps that I love every ingredient in this soup but I found the combination absolutely delicious. Both the asparagus and dill flavor come through but the lemon, fennel and leeks are there in the background and the cayenne and white pepper give it the barest hint of heat. I often prefer brothy soups to pureed ones, but this one is so silky--it is just the right texture. I did add the cream but you could certainly omit it (the creamy aborio rice adds silkiness when blended) and use olive oil and have a vegan soup. Smooth, light, satisfying and very spring-like, perfect for a starter or a light lunch. I will happily make it again. 

We have some good friends and delicious dishes waiting this week in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's have a look!

Claudia of Honey From Rock shared this tempting Potato, Brussels Sprouts Salad and said, "The dressing was composed of mayonnaise, a bit of kefir and kefir cream cheese, blue cheese (just a bit), lemon juice and mustard. Each of the major players were so flavorful in themselves that no additional seasoning was needed. Just blended the dressing together, chunked up the potatoes and Brussels sprouts, chopped the kale finer, and added some capers. Gently tossed and topped with the eggs. Just so you know, the Creamed Kale was made with a bit of crisped up soppressata, as well as cream and the Aromatic Brussels sprouts had mustard seeds. It was a sooooo delicious and even elegant salad.  Really all you need for dinner. Well, maybe a glass of chilled white wine."

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor shares a salad she recently enjoyed an said, "This is a wonderfully filling grilled chicken salad I had at Beef O'Brady's restaurant in Tallahassee. I had set out to get pizza for lunch but couldn't quite get a car buying deal to move as smoothly as I (naively) thought it would. As the hours passed I revised my plan. Beef O'Brady's restaurant was the closest thing to the Tax Collector's Office. So guess what...... It was a good lunch and I had Doug and Tristan with me so I had good company as well. The salad options were plentiful and I have to admit vacillating between a salad and a sandwich. The burgers looked good too but the healthy aspects and lightness of a salad appealed."

Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog brought healthy Anti-Cancer "Dump" Soup and said, "This simple light brothy soup is one of my favorites because it is fast and easy to make and is loaded with anti-cancer vegetables. The broth is warm and soothing, the vegetables are not overcooked, and it's full of healthy nutrients. It definitely feels like a big bowl of comfort soup, and it's probably a good immune booster as well. I feel really good when I eat this light healthy soup. This recipe is truly a dump soup. You can dump any vegetable you have in the soup pot before cooking. Obviously, I dumped cruciferous vegetables for their anti-cancer benefits."

Debra of Eliot's Eats made colorful Pea Salad with Radishes and Feta and said, "The pea salad was perfect for a spring dinner. The original recipe called for pea tendrils as well.  Add if you like (and if you can find them). The next time I make this, I will add a bit of mint.  I think that would complement the sweetness of the peas as well as the bite of the radish and spice of cumin."

Mahalo to everyone who joined in this week! 

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • you are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Vietnamese-Style Asparagus Soup with Noodles and Spicy Peanut Paste for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays and for #SoupSwapParty

It's no secret that I love soup. I love it so much that I make at least one soup every week and eat the leftovers for lunch, dinner, and sometimes breakfast. I love it so much that I have had my own weekly soup blogging event, Souper Sundays since 2008--adding sandwiches and salads to the mix the following year. So of course I jumped at the opportunity to take part in the #SoupSwapParty, a blogging event hosted by The Book Club Cookbook to launch a fun new soup cookbook, Soup Swap: Comforting Recipes to Make and Share by Kathy Gunst.

Kathy Gunst is a the Resident Chef for NPR's Here and Now and became a soup lover when a long and fierce freezing New England winter had her thinking about, making, and eating soup for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and afternoon pick-me-ups. She and her friend and neighbor Hope started a wintertime Second Sunday Soup Swap Supper where soups were made and swapped and those taking part could go home with a variety of soups to chose from. Although I live in a tropical climate and eat soup year-round, I can get behind any soup-centered function and think that Gunst and I would get along well.

Soup Swap has the basic info for hosting your own soup swap party (including some Soup Swap stickers for labeling your soups), more than 60 recipes for soups, toppings, side dishes and accompaniments. Gunst covers the basics of making broths and stocks, and recipes are divided into Vegetable Soups, Chicken & Turkey Soups, Meat Soups, Fish & Seafood Soups & Chowders, Side Dishes, and Garnishes & Toppings. Although I don't know that I'll ever host an actual soup swap, I frequently make and give soup to friends and Gunst offers handy To-Go tips for making her recipes portable for swapping or giving. Although I don't eat meat or poultry, there are plenty of vegetable and fish and seafood recipes that I can enjoy in the book like Asparagus and Leek Soup with Chive Oil, Miso Soup with Tofu and Scallions, Mulligatawny, Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder with Saffron Cream, Provencal-Style Fish Soup with Rouille, and Baby Turnip Soup with Miso Butter and Toasted Hazelnuts, and Cioppino, to name just a few. 

Soup Swap is a paperback with a thick and and touchable textured cover. It lays flat and will stay flat when opened--important when you are busy in the kitchen. The recipes all sound tasty, instructions are clear and step by step, and many of the soups have mouthwatering color photos to look at. The recipes have introductions and there are boxes with soup making tips scattered throughout the book. If you are a soup fan, Soup Swap would be an excellent addition to your cookbook collection or it would make a great gift for a soup-loving friend

Chronicle Books
September 13, 2016

After much indecision about which soup to make, I finally chose the Vietnamese-Style Asparagus Soup with Noodles and Spicy Peanut Paste. Gunst says, "The inspiration for this soup comes from Vietnamese phở, a hearty soup of hot chicken stock topped with asparagus and other vegetables, noodles, and a dab of chili paste. A spicy peanut butter-based base slowly releases its assertive flavor and slightly thickens the broth."

I love phở and Vietnamese flavors and a big bowl of noodly goodness and spicy peanut paste sounded perfect. That I can get good local asparagus most of the year here and that this soup is vegan just added to the appeal. 

I did make a couple of very small changes--namely swapping out the mung bean sprouts for peppery radish sprouts and adding some Thai basil. I am not a mung bean sprout fan and usually ask restaurants to leave them off my plate and I love the flavor of Thai basil and had some that needed to be used up. The result was a bowl of wonderfully satisfying and flavorful soup. 

Vietnamese-Style Asparagus Soup with Noodles and Spicy Peanut Paste
Reprinted with permission from Soup Swap by Kathy Gunst
(Makes 8-10 Tasting Portions or 6 Full Servings)

Spicy Peanut Paste:
3 Tbsp freshly grated or minced ginger
1/2 tsp Chinese chili paste or hot pepper sauce
1/2 cup (150g) chunky all-natural peanut butter
1/2 tsp hot chili oil or hot-pepper sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Asian sesame oil
3 scallions, finely chopped

4 oz (115g) angel-hair rice noodles
1 Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
1 tsp toasted Asian sesame oil
1/2 cup (80g) julienned peeled fresh ginger
5 scallions, cut on the diagonal into 1 1/2-inch (4 cm) pieces
2 lbs (910g) asparagus, ends trimmed, peeled & cut on the diagonal into 1 1/2-inch (4 cm) pieces
6 cups (1.4L) vegetable stock, homemade or good low-sodium broth
1/2 cup (30g) packed, coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
(I added fresh Thai basil leaves)
1 cup mung bean sprouts (I used radish sprouts)
coarsely chopped salted peanuts for garnish (optional

To Make Peanut Paste: In a medium bowl, combine the grated ginger, chili paste, and peanut butter, stirring to create a smooth paste. Add the chili oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, and scallions; stir until smooth. The paste will be quite thick and should have a good, spicy kick. The paste can be made several hours ahead; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To Make the Soup: Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil over medium heat. Add the rice noodles to the stockpot and cook for 3 minutes, or until tender. Immediately transfer the noodles  to a colander to drain and cool them under very cold running water to stop the cooking. Transfer the noodles to the bowl of ice water and separate them to prevent them from clumping. (If you are good with chopsticks, use them to do this.) Set aside.

In a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat, warm the peanut oil and sesame oil. Add the julienned ginger and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Add the scallions and cook for about 20 seconds. Add the asparagus and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes, The vegetables should be al dente, not completely cooked or soft. Set aside. (The recipe can be made ahead up to this point. Store the noodles and about 1/4 cup of the ice water in a separate container and store the sauteed asparagus in plastic wrap. Store all the elements in the refrigerator until ready to assemble. Bring the peanut paste and asparagus mixture to room temperature before finishing off the soup.) 

In a large stockpot over medium heat, bring the vegetable stock to a rolling boil. Turn the heat to low and keep hot. 

To Assemble: Ladle the simmering stock into serving bowls (about 1 cup per serving for 6 servings). Whisk in about 1 Tbsp of the peanut paste. Drain the noodles well and divide them equally among the bowls of broth. Top each serving with a scoop of the asparagus-ginger mixture and sprinkle with a handful of cilantro, (Thai basil), and the sprouts. Serve with the remaining cilantro, spicy peanut paste, and peanuts, if desired, on the side and let guests add what they like. 

To-Go Tips: Transport the vegetable stock in the soup pot. Pack the noodles, peanut paste, and each of the toppings in separate containers. At the party, reheat, the soup and continue as directed. Set out all the toppings so that guests can choose what they want to add.

Notes/Results: And what a great bowl of soup this is! So much flavor in the Spicy Peanut Paste (I would probably lick this paste off of a stick) along with the ginger and fresh herbs. The paste stirs into the broth nicely and I liked mine with an extra scoop of the paste on top. It seems like a long recipe, but once you chop and prep your ingredients, this one goes together surprisingly quickly and easily. It's not authentic phở, but it is really delicious and if you love East Asian flavors and ingredients, you will love it. It's a vegan soup as written and if you use GF tamari instead of soy sauce, it can be gluten-free as well. I loved the asparagus, but you could work other veggies in--green beans, mushrooms, Asian greens, etc. in if you can't get good asparagus and it would be delicious. I will happily make this again.

Besides receiving a complimentary copy of Soup Swap: Comforting Recipes to Make and Share to review from Chronicle Books, we participants were lucky enough to get some excellent cooking tools to help with our soup prep from Chef’s Choice and Zeroll

We received the Chef’sChoice® ProntoPro™ Diamond Hone® Knife Sharpener, the fastest manual sharpener available for sharpening both 15 degree and 20 degree knife edges and
the Zeroll® 8720 4-ounce Stainless Steel Ladle which features a deep bowl, perfect for serving piping hot soup, as well as the Zeroll® #8711 Stainless Steel Slotted Serving Spoon to help stir and portion your soup. 

Thank you to the publisher, Kathy Gunst and these wonderful vendors--all of these tools will be well-used and loved at my house! Thanks to The Book Club Cookbook for putting together this fun event! (Note: No monetary compensation was received for this review or post and my thoughts and opinions are my own.

Stop by the #SoupSwapParty Page to check out all of the tasty soups that were made and hear what the other bloggers thought about the book!

Speaking of soup... we have some good friends in the Souper Sundays kitchen who shared some marvelous dishes last week--let's have a look! 

Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog shared these Chilled Tomato Soup Shooters and said, "Bring on the party with these delicious tomato soup shooters! Served at room temperature or chilled, these shooters are the great way to get any party or meal started and they are one of the best tomato soups ever! With just 5 ingredients, preparation is a breeze! The recipe meets my criteria for health, ease, convenience and taste. It's made from real food, is naturally gluten free, and vegan."

I think these Tomato & Basil Bruschetta that I made this week at Kahakai Kitchen would be great with Judee's shooters above! These little open-face sandwiches are simple, delicious, and a great way to use up the last of the summer's bounty.

Also taking part in the #soupswapparty festivities is Debra of Eliot's Eats who made the Italian Sausage-Zucchini Soup from the book. She said, "Since I have loads of zucchini and still have fresh herbs growing, I decided to try “Hope’s Italian Sausage-Zucchini Soup.”  This is truly a heirloom recipe..." ... This soup is adaptable to what you have on hand.   Use your choice of turkey or pork (or even chicken) sausage and canned or homemade chicken stock. The choice of herbs is yours as well."

Joyce from Kitchen Flavours shared Jacques Pepin's Chicken Jardinieri. She said, "This chicken stew is delicious. We love it. The chicken is tender and tasty, the veggies are soft and the soup slurpingly good. Great with white rice, but I've got to plan my bread baking earlier the next time (and read the instructions properly!), so that we could enjoy the crusty bread in time, with this stew!"

It was a two-soup week for me as I made Jacques Pepin's simple but delicious Garlic Soup with Croutons here at Kahakai Kitchen. This soup has 12 cloves of garlic, but with the leeks and potatoes, they mellow into a comforting and silky bowl of well-flavored soup. The crispy croutons on top add the perfect texture! 


Tina of Squirrel Head Manor popped in with BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches and says, "Behold my sandwich made with Jackfruit.  Don't you think it looks like pork?  It has a very similar texture to meat, and well....pork in particular. If you are a vegetarian (or a vegan ) and abhor the texture of meat, even TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) then you won't like this.  But if you routinely add a TVP, or like that texture, you may like this."

Finally Kim of Stirring the Pot shared Jacques Pepin's Onion Soup Lyonnaise (French Onion Soup) and said, "Now if you love French Onion Soup then hear me when I say this recipe is total and complete perfection. In fact, it's easily one of my favorite recipes I've made since blogging almost 8 years ago! Why? Well, the French Onion Soup we've all come to know and love is so delicious because it is topped with that crusty bread and melted cheese. That crusty bread and melted cheese is easily the pièce de résistance.  Now, how do we improve on that? By adding more cheese and bread, of course!"

A big thank you to everyone who joined in this week!

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • you are welcome to add the wonderful Souper Sundays logo (created by Ivy at Kopiaste) to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week!