Every once in a while, we need to take a break from eating meat. But what to serve? Here are a couple of recipes together that form a nice meal.
The first recipe is a Pan Roasted Asparagus soup, taken from the NY Times Cooking Section. (https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/5937-pan-roasted-asparagus-soup) It takes less than an hour to prepare.
- 1 ½ pounds thin asparagus (if only thick spears are available, peel them first)
- 2 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil
- 10 fresh tarragon leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 4 cups chicken or other stock
- Salt and pepper
- Cut off bottom part of each asparagus stalk, and discard. Coarsely chop the rest of stalks, leaving 12 or 16 of the flower ends whole. Put butter or oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. A minute later, add asparagus and tarragon, raise heat to high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned, about 10 minutes. Remove whole flower ends; set aside.
- Add stock and some salt and pepper; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until asparagus is very tender, about 10 minutes. Cool at least a few minutes.
- Pour soup into a blender, in batches if necessary, and carefully purée. (I use a hand blender) Return to pan, and, over medium-low heat, reheat gently. When soup is hot, adjust seasoning. Put 3 or 4 asparagus flower ends in each of 4 bowls; ladle in soup, and serve.
The soup may be enough for some, but just in case, prepare this Corn Caprese Salad. Caprese is the Italian version of a salad that features tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. The corn adds some texture. I can be canned corn, charred corn from the grill or corn cut off of the cob.
While the soup is simmering, prepare this salad
- 3 cups corn
- 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 cup small mozzarella balls cut in quarters
- 1/2 c. sliced basil in a chiffonade (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiffonade)
- 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper
- Optional – cubed avocado
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Stir until ingredients are completely mixed and coated in dressing. Garnish with herbs, if desired, then serve.