Dinner Party!!

soupThere are so many things I miss about having the kids rambling around the house.  One of them is definitely the family dinner.  Sitting around the table, sometimes for a short meal and sometimes for a long meal is something I pine for.  We still have them and in many ways they are even more special now.  The other thing I miss is cooking.  I love to cook and bake.  I find it relaxing and insanely enjoyable.   We had a few good friends come over for dinner.  The conversation flowed, the wine flowed and I loved the whole preparation.

I will post some of the recipes over the next week or so.  Here was the menu.  Asparagus Soup to start.  Snap peas arugula herb salad with Burrata, Farro Salad and lemon herb whole fish (one per person).  Lemon Ricotta bars and a platter of fruit.  It said spring is here.

The soup was so simple and delicious.  I made enough so that one person went home with tub of soup.

4 lbs. asparagus (take a vegetable peeler and clean up each stalk from the top down and then cut off the bottom.  I took 12 of the top and cut them off for decoration on the soup.  Slice the rest into 2″ pieces)

1 large sweet onion chopped

4 leeks cleaned and chopped (white part only)

8 cups Chicken Stock (you could use Vegetable Stock and go completely vegetarian on this)

8 tbsp. flour

8 tbsp. butter

In a large stock pot cover the bottom with olive oil.  Add in the onions, leeks, salt and pepper.  Saute until soft and even a little browned.  Then add in the asparagus and saute for a few more minutes.

Pour in 8 cups of stock.  Bring to a boil and then down to simmer.  Let this simmer for about 15 minutes.  The asparagus should be very soft.

Ladle out 4 cups of broth and set aside.

Take the asparagus and the broth left in the pot and use a food processor to puree.  It takes a few rounds.  Set this aside in a separate bowl until completely done.  Then return this to the original pot you used.  Wipe down the pot so there are not any tiny pieces floating around first.

In a medium sized saucepan over a low heat add the flour and butter.  Stir this constantly for about 2 minutes until it become thick.  This is a warm roux.

Whisk in the reserved broth to this roux.  Then turn the heat up to medium and continue to stir with a wooden spoon until this thickens.  About 5 minutes.

Slowly whisk this in to the pureed soup.  Bring to a simmer over a medium heat to blend the two.  Add salt and white pepper to taste.  I turned everything off at this point.  Rewarmed the soup right before serving.

I took the tops that I had set aside and quickly sauteed them in a small pan with butter.  I did this earlier and set those aside for later.

Ladle the soup into a bowl, put two asparagus tops on the soup for decor.  Serve.

Really delicious and simple.  Great starter for a spring dinner or even lunch later in the week.