Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Home Grown Tomatoes presents...A Spare Gus

Creamy Asparagus Soup 
  Home Grown Tomatoes is a weekly vegan/vegetarian column by Giovanina Bucci

For those of you faithful readers who don't know nearly everything about me, I also play music.  While getting ready for one of my regular gig's this past Saturday, I had one of those frantic getting ready moments, where nothing about it is easy and by the end you're sweating from trying on things that are inevitably just a little too tight.  Yup, it was one of those nights.  Let me just set the stage for you:

 - Both pairs of 'go to' jeans are soaking wet in the washer
 - 10 or so extra pounds of 'winter weight' is resting nicely on my thighs, ass, and belly 
 - Dresses look like I'm trying too hard
 - Leggings are making me look like a bull in a china shop
 - Sweaters are too hot
 - Hair up looks too diva-ish
 - Hair down looks outrageously frizzy and a bit like I got electrocuted by my amplifier

You get the idea...  Anyway, these were just a few of things going on - which, I'm sure many of you can relate to.  So I ended up, in my attempts to keep things casual, with what used to be my 'go to' jeans (ow. that really hurts to say) and a tee-shirt, complete with a low side braid.  As you can imagine, in order to actually get these too tight jeans on, there was a serious amount of stretching going on.  And yes, I did do the lean forward, pull-pants-waist-band-fiercely-in-opposite-direction.  And no, I can't even blame the dryer - WE DON'T HAVE ONE.  Ugh.  So the ridiculous irony lurking in this story is the three or so trips I made to the kitchen to eat handfuls of chocolate chips.  You want to talk about a WTF moment?  Like Ghiradelli is going to help my muffin top melt into anything but a chocolate covered donut on top of a muffin!  Awesome. 

Today, I'm thankful for dry, comfy jeans.

OK, onto recipe land.  I'm so sad that hot soup season is nearly coming to an end.  Not at all sad about winter being over.  Not. At. All.  I figured this week would be a good chance to dish out one last all-about-the-comfort soup recipe.  This was the type of recipe that emerged out of rummaging through the refrigerator and cupboards in hopes of using up all of the 'on the verge of going bad' veggies.  And it worked!  

Serving Size: 4 small bowls

1 bunch of asparagus
2 large stalks of celery
1 medium red potato
3 Tbs. Earth Balance
1/2 C. raw cashews
2-3 C. plain almond milk
1 Tbs. garlic
1/2 Tbs. basil
dash red pepper flakes (optional)
1 1/2 Tls. nutritional yeast
1 Tbs. Bragg's Liquid Aminos
black pepper

Begin by dicing the vegetables and sauteing them in the butter and about 1/4 C. of milk on medium heat.  Save a few asparagus tips for garnish if you so desire.  Stir vegetables every couple of minutes until tender.  At this point, add remaining ingredients, except for the cashews, and turn heat down to medium low.  In a blender or food processor, finely chop the cashews and then add them to the soup.  After about 15 minutes, puree two cups of vegetables from the soup and then add puree back into the batch.  Pureeing half of a batch of soup helps to thicken the stock without taking away all of the crunch and texture of the remaining 'whole' vegetables.  You may want to add more milk, depending on how thick you like your soups, which would be fine to do at this point as well.  And that's it!  I'm sure a little dab of sour cream on top wouldn't hurt a thing either, before serving!  Enjoy!

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