Posted in A bit of history, Books, Earth, Eastern Shore, Fire, Food, Garden, Gifts, Gratitude, Life, Maryland, Photography, Quotes, Recipes, Souper Sunday, Spirit, Spring

Souper Sunday: A lemony asparagus soup

Asparagus soup.

You needn’t tell me that a man who doesn’t love oysters and asparagus and good wines has got a soul, or a stomach either.  He’s simply got the instinct for being unhappy.

~ ‘Saki,” pen name of Scottish writer Hector Hugh Munro (1870-1916)

We have been eating asparagus from our garden for the past two weeks.  We have a bumper crop this year and since I don’t like canned or frozen asparagus, the only left to do is eat it day after day after day until the season ends.  Barbara Kingsolver, in her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, wrote about how the asparagus season lasts just long enough for us to grow sick of it and not want to see it again for another year.  I couldn’t find that particular quote, but did find this:

“Respecting the dignity of a spectacular food means enjoying it at its best. Europeans celebrate the short season of abundant asparagus as a form of holiday. In the Netherlands the first cutting coincides with Father’s Day, on which restaurants may feature all-asparagus menus and hand out neckties decorated with asparagus spears.”

~ Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle:  A Year of Food Life

It was that book, by the way, that inspired me to plant my first asparagus bed while we were living in NE Ohio.  The asparagus bed is one of many reasons I’m happy that M the Younger and his wife are renting our house and property in the Bogs.  They both like asparagus, they also like to grow their own food, so the asparagus bed has not gone to waste or ruin.

Steamed tips ready to garnish the soup.

The photo I began with doesn’t do the beauty of this soup justice.  Picking an orange bowl to photograph it in was probably a mistake, and the soup was a little on the thin side so the garnish of asparagus tips gave in to gravity and sunk into the soup.  Ladled into a white bowl, you would have been able to see how beautifully green this soup is.

I have tried several recipes for asparagus soup.  This is my favorite.  You can find the recipe here.  The only thing I change when making it is the broth.  I have used a homemade light vegetable broth and, in a pinch, Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base (which I think has something of a celery flavor to it which is fine for this soup).  The next time I make it, which might be soon, I want to try this broth although I might leave out the parsnips.  I think the leeks and mint would be a wonderful compliment to the asparagus.  M wants to try putting a bit of cream in it and serving it cold.  We will probably try that, too.

I am also thinking that this might be a good soup to freeze to eat later.  I am going to give it a try with the next batch, assuming we don’t eat it all first.

Thank you for stopping by for Souper Sunday.  If you decide to give this soup a try, let me know how it turns out for you.  Also, if you have any good asparagus recipes, feel free to share them with me in the comments section.  We’re gonna be eating A LOT of asparagus over the next few weeks.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a harvest this big before (from our garden).

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  176)  Asparagus!!  177)  All the ways you can prepare and eat asparagus!  178)  Waking at sunrise and listening to thousands of laughing gulls greeting the morning from the farm field next door.  179)  Hearing a bob white’s distinctive call (which means they’re back for another season).  180)  A phone call from my granddaughters this morning to wish us a Happy Easter.  Speaking of which, Happy Easter to those of you out there celebrating it!

Posted in Air, Art, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Gifts, Gratitude, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Play, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Spirit, Spring, Walking & Wandering, Writing

A Thursday Ramble

Light and shadows

A shadow is never created in darkness. It is born of light. We can be blind to it and blinded by it. Our shadow asks us to look at what we don’t want to see.

~ Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds:  Fifty-four Variations on Voice

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Posted in Air, Art, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Family, Fire, Friends, Gifts, Grandparenthood, Maryland, Ohio, Photography, Play, Quotes, Spirit, Spring, Travel

If we were having coffee: The Cleveland Film Festival

View from our hotel room when we arrived in Cleveland on the afternoon of the 31st of March 2017.

I don’t like the idea of “understanding” a film. I don’t believe that rational understanding is an essential element in the reception of any work of art. Either a film has something to say to you or it hasn’t. If you are moved by it, you don’t need it explained to you. If not, no explanation can make you moved by it.

~ Federico Fellini

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Posted in Air, Change, Critters, Digital Art, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Garden, Gifts, Gratitude, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Spring, Walking & Wandering, Wonder

Wednesday wandering

Oak impressions.

To write requires an ego, a belief that what you say matters. Writing also requires an aching curiosity leading you to discover, uncover, what is gnawing at your bones.

~ Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice

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Posted in Air, Assateague Island, Beach, Change, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Gifts, Gratitude, Hiking, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Play, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Spring, Walking & Wandering, Water, Wonder

A Monday meander

Stripes across the sky.

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.

~ Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder 

We do not understand the earth in terms either of what it offers us or of what it requires of us, and I think it is the rule that people inevitably destroy what they do not understand.

~ Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

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Posted in Fire, Food, Gifts, Gratitude, Health & Well-Being, Home, Life, Mindfulness, Quotes, Recipes, Souper Sunday, Spirit, Spring

Souper Sunday

A garnished bowl of chili.

Next to jazz music, there is nothing that lifts the spirit and strengthens the soul more than a good bowl of chili.

~ Harry James

This week’s soup is not a soup at all, but a chili.  I figure since restaurants get away with slipping chili into the soup categories on their menus, I can get away with slipping a chili into my Souper Sundays.  The original purpose of my soup challenge was to make something different, but some days I crave an old (or in this case, fairly recent) standby and this chili is my go-to for warmth and comfort.  I actually made this earlier in the week when it was quite cold outside.

This is a vegan chili although you could, if you wanted, add cheese and sour cream (or crema) for garnishes.  M and I like ours garnished with avocado, green onions, and cilantro that I’ve mixed with some lime juice.  It adds a nice, fresh, pop of color and flavor to the dish.

This chili was ready for a close-up.

There are a variety of recipes for this chili.  My favorite is this one, but I do change one thing.  I use chipotle peppers in adobo sauce instead of ground chipotle powder.  I’ve heard that some adobo sauces use a meat stock (chicken, usually), but the one I buy does not and is therefore vegetarian/vegan.  When I cut up the chipotle peppers, I remove most of the seeds.  I leave some for the heat/spice.  It’s a difficult balancing act because some chipotle peppers are hotter than others, in my experience.  The more seeds you put in the chili, the hotter the chili will be.  I also add some of the adobo sauce because it adds even more smokey flavor to the chili.  If you can find them, fire roasted tomatoes also add more smokey flavor.

Thanks for stopping by for another Souper Sunday.  If you decide to cook up some of this chili, please let me know what you think of it and/or any variations you try.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  151)  Weekend beach time.  152)  Foggy mornings.  153)  The sound of the Laughing Gulls in the farm field next door.  154)  Sleeping in on a Sunday.  155)  Listening to New Orleans jazz music while typing up my Souper Sunday post.