This no cream based soup is perfect for a cool September evening and is loaded with fresh asparagus, garden grown herbs and lemon.
After a busy week of running around (and zero trips to the grocery store) I finally peeked in the fridge to see what I could come up with for dinner. I had little over a pound of asparagus left, onions, herbs and fresh lemons from this weekends trip to the produce stand. At first, I was just going to roast the asparagus…then I looked at my Ninja and decided to make a simple soup (perfect for a light rainy evening like tonight!)
1 pound asparagus, rinsed
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
1 – 2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme
1/2 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1/8 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil (I used lemon olive oil)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, drizzle olive oil over asparagus to coat and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 – 25 minutes until tender but still crisp. While the asparagus is roasting, melt butter in a saucepan and cook garlic and onions until transparent (about 5 minutes.) Add broth to onion / garlic mixture and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and transfer to the blender. Remove asparagus from oven and let cool slightly. Once cooled, remove the tips and cut the asparagus in 1 – 2 inch pieces. Add asparagus pieces, except the tips, to the blender along with the herbs and combine all ingredients until smooth.
Transfer soup back to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add lemon juice, zest and season with salt and pepper. Turn off heat and add the cheese. Serve immediately and garnish with the asparagus tips.
As summertime comes to a close, there’s no better way to celebrate the end of the season than with fresh, California-grown peaches.
My inspiration for today’s recipe came from a post I shared last summer – Heirloom Tomato, Peach and Mozzarella Crostini. Those who know me, know I LOVE burrata and prosciutto….so naturally they made their way into today’s recipes. The delicate creaminess of the burrata and the smoky saltiness of the prosciutto are the perfect complement to the sweet, juicy peaches.
Spring greens mix
4 ounces fresh burrata
2 large peaches, peeled and sliced
4 slices of prosciutto
2 lemons, juiced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Combine spring greens, fresh burrata, peaches and prosciutto on a plate. For the dressing, slowly whisk the olive oil into the lemon juice and continue whisking until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle dressing over the salad and garnish with fresh thyme. Serves 4.
If you are looking for an easy-to-make appetizer, this salty and sweet combo is the perfect summertime snack.
1 baguette, sliced
4 ounces fresh burrata
2 slices of prosciutto
1 large peach, peeled and sliced
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice baguette into 1/2 inch slices and coat with olive oil. Season lightly with salt & pepper and bake them for about 8 – 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove the baguette slices from the oven and layer with a peach slice and burrata. Drizzle a little olive oil over each crostini, season with a dash of freshly ground pepper and garnish with prosciutto and thyme. *If you made the salad recipe above, you can also use the lemon dressing for drizzling.
This morning I left the South Bay at 4am to head back to Sonoma wine country and when I walked outside I noticed it was surprisingly warm – 67 degrees to be exact. 67 degrees at 4am! I couldn’t believe it. From that moment on I knew it was going to be another hot one in Northern California.
When I returned home after work, I spent some time taking care of my herb garden as I was out-of-town all weekend. While I was watering, the aromatic notes of mint, basil, rosemary and lemon balm captivated my thirst for a refreshing patio cocktail. I decided to rummage through my cocktail bar to see what concoction I could whip up in order to satisfy my craving. Using the ingredients I had on hand, I composed this easy to make and delightfully refreshing gin-blackberry-mint cocktail. The sweet, tart, and slightly bitter flavors in the berries perfectly complemented the mellow and refreshing notes in the mint.
1 1/2 ounces gin
1 teaspoon agave nectar
Handful of blackberries (4-5)
Handful of fresh mint (4-5 leaves…depending in how “minty” you like it)
1/2 lime, freshly juiced
Soda water, float
Muddle the blackberries, mint and gin in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, nectar and lime juice. Shake and strain in a glass filled with ice. Float with soda water and garnish with a mint sprig.
Looking for more herb-inspired cocktails? Check out: