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.

Comments (Archived):

  1. pointsnfigures

    Love the dinner party with friends. I think that Martha Stewart ruined the dinner party. She made everyone a perfectionist. The other day we were at a families home my daughter babysat for. They had a newborn, a 3 yr old, and 5 yr old. The parents were running around like madmen. We helped as much as we could and then we all sat down and had some of the best ribs and pulled pork ever. Fun. Was not a Martha experience, but it was great to break bread and meet new people.

    1. Brandon Burns

      I’ve learned that there are two kinds of people in life: those who treasure the “perfect” dining experience, and those who just want to eat. 🙂

  2. awaldstein

    I’m in on food as the family and communal bond that ties.Been doing small wine dinners at my local spot lately.It’s not home but there is something special about a group of 12 at one table, someone bringing a flight of wine around a theme, and usually getting someone like David Lillie, owner of Chambers Street Wine to create the easy narrative for the evening around the food and wine. He owns the wine shop and the restaurant so perfect.

    1. Gotham Gal

      That’s really great to do it in a wine shop

      1. awaldstein

        And some we do at Racines. One block away as they are all connected ownership and philosophy both.

  3. Tracey Jackson

    I hear ya girlfriend. When we were four I cooked at least four nights a week, linen napkins, three courses, no matter what crazy diets they were on. You know kids…”What do you mean chicken. I don’t eat chicken.” “Well you have for the last 14 years.” “Now I’m a vegan.” OY But in all of that, I miss it. Now we are three but Lucy is starting the drift dance of her own routine and life. Glenn and I spend many nights with take-out and Netflix. Which is its own type of fun. But I miss the family dinners a lot.

  4. Laura Yecies

    Sounds like fun. I’ve gotten really into making soups lately and definitely recommend the immersion blender – it really makes it much to make a puree like this one in your post.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Big fan of the immersion vendor

  5. Susan

    This looks delicious. But all that butter? Sorry to be a buzzkill, but could I cut that down it and still have this turn out OK? Could I halve this recipe or would I need to adjust proportions?

    1. Gotham Gal

      You could bag the hot broth with the roux is you wanted to. Stir in some milk if you wanted to make it less thick or leave it as is

  6. William Mougayar

    And bonus, it’s asparagus season! not a coincidence i’m sure.

  7. Brandon Burns

    i was at the Union Sq Market yesterday — asparagus everywhere! I bought a ton. I will try this recipe soon.Though throwing some in a pan with some salt, pepper and butter is pretty quick, easy and awesome.

  8. laurie kalmanson

    hungry now. that sounds awesome. copy, paste.

  9. Renee MacDonald

    This looks very delicious and seems not too difficult to make. I’m looking forward to trying it.