The Sunday Recipe: Cream of Asparagus Soup

I know, I know, it’s past time to let the asparagus go, but it looked pretty good, my daughter loves it, AND I was trying to come up with smooth recipes for her because she just got braces. I’d also seen a cream of asparagus recipe somewhere recently and here we are.

After looking at several recipes online, I combined a few according to our tastes to get this one. It was simple and hit the spot for us. In fact, I think I’ll be using this method to make creamed soups with some other vegetables soon.

I often don’t have chicken broth on hand, but I keep a broth base powder in the cupboard that is low sodium and used that in preparing this recipe. It tasted just fine.

I think this would be interesting to try keeping dairy free by using olive oil and coconut milk. I imagine it would work fine.

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Directions

  1. Break the woody part off the end of the asparagus stalks.
  2. Chop into ½ inch pieces.
  3. Rinse and drain.
  4. In a heavy pot over medium heat, melt butter.
  5. Add onion and cook until translucent.
  6. Add asparagus.
  7. Season with garlic, salt, and pepper.
  8. Cook 5 minutes.
  9. Add broth and bring to a boil.
  10. Lower to simmer and cook, covered, 15 minutes.
  11. Blend with an immersion blender. (If using a regular blender, cover with a towel instead of the regular lid.)
  12. Add cream to puree in pot and bring to preferred temp over low heat.
  13. Enjoy!

The Friday Poem

The Sunday Recipe: Fresh Cherry Clafoutis

Fresh Cherry Clafoutis

I wanted to offer a recipe that used fruit at its peak right now. Unfortunately, the bag I got at the store was so “at its peak” that there were mushed cherries in the center and it was leaking juice by the time I got it home. I picked through them, cleaned the cherries with vinegar water, and there was more than enough to make the clafoutis.

Fresh Cherry Clafoutis

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sweet cherries, pitted and sliced in half
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup almond flour (or flour of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca or cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Clean, pit, and slice cherries in half.
  3. Place butter in a glass dish and microwave to melt then spread.
  4. Pour the cherries into the buttered pie plate and spread out.
  5. Whisk or blend the remaining ingredients until smooth.
  6. Pour over cherries.
  7. Back at 375 for 40 minutes.
  8. Cool and chill for 4 hours or overnight.
  9. Enjoy!

The Friday Poem: 7/16/2021

The Sunday Recipe: Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars

There is something about this time of year that turns my mind to cooking with lemon and blueberries. It’s perfect because the blueberries are just coming on and can be used while they are fresh and firm instead of defrosted with their juice oozing out. Some recipes are just better with fresh blueberries.

I thought of making my lemon bars then I saw a recipe for lemon blueberry bars and that sounded incredible, but the crust used a sugar cookie mix and the filling was a custard with only lemon zest for flavoring. So I came up with this recipe, combining a crust from my favorite lemon bars with the cheesecake filling I perfected, to my taste, last year. I hope you give it a try and I hope you enjoy it. #glutenfree #refinedsugarfree

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 ½ cups almond flour (About 160 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Filling

  • 1 ½ cups, washed and dried blueberries
  • 1 8-ounce block cream cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca or cornstarch

Directions

  1. Get out ingredients for the filling and allow to come to room temp. I often get them out before lunch then make the recipe after lunch. Alternatively, it will work to warm the cream cheese and maple syrup on low in the microwave for a minute or two. To warm the egg, place it in hot tap water for just ten minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare an 8 by 8 pan with cooking spray, butter, or oil, and line with parchment paper. (Wax paper also works.)
  3. Combine the crust ingredients and press into the prepared pan with your fingers, using the edge of your hand or a finger to press the crust up the side just a little.
  4. Bake for 12 minutes.
  5. While the crust is baking, combine all the ingredients for the filling, except the blueberries and tapioca flour, in a mixing bowl and whisk or use a mixer to beat until just smooth.
  6. Beat in the tapioca flour and set aside to rest.
  7. Remove the crust from the oven when it is ready and turn the temperature down to 300 degrees.
  8. Place the washed and dried blueberries into the bottom of the crust in a single layer. (I rolled the blueberries in my fingers a little as I chose them to make sure they were reasonably firm.)
  9. Pour the filling slowly over the blueberries, moving the bowl around to cover the blueberries without forcing them to move too much.
  10. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.
  11. Without opening the oven, turn the heat off and leave in the oven for another 30 minutes to finish baking.
  12. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the counter for an hour.
  13. Cool in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight.
  14. Enjoy!

The Friday Poem: Little to Say

The Sunday Recipe: Almond Sponge Cake with Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

It’s a holiday weekend and we’re all busy but here’s a super simple recipe. We just adore rhubarb but this time I used strawberries AND rhubarb, as many people don’t think rhubarb by itself is as wonderful as my family does.

I adapted the strawberry rhubarb sauce from https://www.skinnytaste.com/strawberry-rhubarb-compote/ by simply using maple syrup instead of honey. I also used rhubarb I had already frozen. I didn’t even let it defrost, just dumped it in the pan with the chunked up strawberries. The rhubarb was diced more finely than her recipe calls for, about a quarter inch slices, but I think that helped it break down easier from frozen.

Almond Sponge Cake with Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

Ingredients

  • 9 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 6 ounces almond flour (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 5 large eggs (separated)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9 ½ inch spring form plate, or even just a cake tin, or pie plate. (If using something that you can’t take the ring off, I would use a piece of parchment paper or wax paper in the bottom.)
  3. Separate the 5 eggs into 2 mixing bowls. (I highly recommend you do the actual separating over a small bowl and then dump the egg yolk into the one bowl and transfer the egg white into the mixing bowl.) If you don’t know how to separate eggs, here’s a simple 1-minute video on it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAGX-54iR30
  4. Mix the maple syrup into the egg yolks then stir in the almond extract and almond flour.
  5. Using a mixer, beat your egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. (Tip: for best results make sure your bowl and beaters are clean and dry, free of any oil.)
  6. Fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, about one third at a time. (Basically, folding means to use a large rubber spatula to stir up gently from the bottom.)
  7. Pour the mixture in the pan and bake for 40 minutes, until a knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce

Ingredients

  • ¾ pound strawberries, sliced
  • ¾ pound rhubarb, diced in quarter inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water

Directions

  1. Combine the ingredients in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce to medium low.
  4. Simmer until the fruit breaks down, about 15 minutes.
  5. Chill and serve over almond cake. (Preferably with soft whipped cream.)

The Friday Poem: A Meal in the Wild