Dinner is probably the most common time to eat asparagus and it always goes well as a side dish – lightly steamed, roasted, sautéed, grilled, topped with butter, olive oil, sea salt, hollandaise sauce or cheese – even pickled or raw and tossed in a salad – I’m not sure you can go wrong with fresh asparagus. Last week I shared a recipe for using asparagus at breakfast and today I am going to share with you another way I cooked our freshly picked asparagus this week.
Asparagus – Split Pea Soup
If you already have favorite recipe for split pea soup by all means use it – just cut up a big bunch of asparagus and add it to the pot as the soup cooks. If you don’t have a recipe for pea soup here is how I made it. Disclaimer: I usually don’t use exact measures when cooking – I am a pinch of this, shake of that, taste as you go along type of cook.
1 bag of dried split peas
a good size bunch of asparagus
5 or more carrots
1 pound of beef smoked sausage
several cloves of fresh minced garlic or two about teaspoons of garlic powder.
about 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
add salt later if needed – the smoked sausage will add some salt and you don’t want to get to much
I always soak the peas in water over night. The next morning I drain the peas and put them in the crockpot. Add enough water to just cover the peas. I then cut up the asparagus, carrots, onion, and sausage and put them in the crockpot. I add the garlic and black pepper and put the lid on. I start it out on high for at least an hour to build up the heat. Then I turn it to low and let it cook. After a few more hours I check to see if the peas have become mushy. (At this point you can also taste it to see if it needs more salt or pepper and add them as needed.) If the peas are still hard I put the lid on tightly and turn it back up to high for another hour or so. Once peas have become mushy I leave the lid partially covering the pot so any excess water can cook off and the soup will thicken. If at any point the soup is too think just add some more water. When the soup is the desired consistency dish yourself up a bowl and enjoy!!! 🙂
I almost forgot – the first time I made this I put it all in a cast iron Dutch oven and cooked over an open fire at the farm. It does make a nice campfire dinner.
I am a bit afraid that things are getting somewhat confusing on my blog since I’ve recently written about soap and sap, but I still feel the need to add this post about a soup that I made recently. To be clear this is definitely a recipe to eat but I would not recommend bathing with it 🙂 .
The soup which I might call cream of potato with mushroom and garlic was loosely based on this recipe http://allrecipes.com/recipe/13131/cream-of-garlic-soup/ . I’m really not sure how much you have to change a recipe before it can become your own, but I am fairly sure that the original recipe would be good as well. I didn’t precisely measure most of the ingredients so I’ll just share with you the changes that I made to this recipe.
I started with three medium size bulbs of garlic, I peeled each clove and minced it in the garlic press, this was at least 3/4 of a cup maybe more. I heated the olive oil in a pan and then added the minced garlic to the hot olive oil and turned off the heat. I had also peeled, cubed and boiled three good size potatoes. Instead of white wine (in the original recipe) I increased the amount of chicken broth to about 3 1/2 cups. I added the garlic/olive oil to the chicken broth. I drained and mashed the potatoes. I then began using a mixer to beat the potatoes and slowly adding the broth. If you decide to use the mixer like I did, instead of a blender that is recommended in the original recipe, it is important to add the broth slowly because at some point the mixture might become so thin that it begins to splatter. Take it from me, you really don’t want to find yourself washing it off the counter, walls, your shirt and anywhere else it happens to land. When the mixture did get too thin to use the mixer I found that I was able to stir in the rest of the broth. I put this mixture on the stove over medium heat, stirred in about 3 cups of half and half and added about one teaspoon of salt.
While that was cooking I washed, sliced and sautéed about 12 ounces of fresh mushrooms. I then added them to the soup. I let this cook over low heat for about an hour, stirring every now and then to make sure it was not scorching.
As my title says this soup is for garlic lovers. It does have a very strong garlic flavor. Yumm! I am not sure that I would like it as much without the mushrooms and it might even be better with cheese melted on top.
As garlic farmers we are interested in all things garlic, so I invite you to share how you like to use garlic. Do you use it medicinally? Do you have a favorite recipe? Please feel free to comment on this page.