Pea and Asparagus Soup

Pea Asparagus Soup and Grilled Cheese

What says spring more than snapping the stalks off of perfectly fresh, in-season aparagus? I love using aspargus in the spring. Seeing all the fresh produce once the weather starts getting nicer always makes me want to make a nice bright green spring soup to mark the occasion.

I always find myself checking Anna Thomas’s book “Love Soup” out from the library and using it as inspiration. This recipe isn’t exactly the same as one from her book – but that’s part of the charm of this cookbook. Her writing and helpful advice will get you in the mood to find fresh, beautiful produce and make something delicious out of it.

The book is full of vegetarian recipes – many, if not all, of the soups can be made vegan as well. It’s a wonderful and inspiring cookbook for anybody – vegan, vegetarian, or otherwise. I am usually a fan of cookbooks with BIG beautiful food photography. I typically don’t ever buy or check out books without nice big pictures in them as that’s what inspires me the most. This cookbook has no photos but I always find myself going back to it again and again. I’ve checked it out from the library so many times I definitely need to buy myself a copy – if not multiple copies to give out as gifts!

I really think anyone would benefit from reading and owning this cookbook. It’s truly inspiring – whether you’re in the mood for soup or not, Anna will get you thinking about all the wonderful possibilities of going to the farmer’s market and seeing all the fresh produce for yourself. The recipes are divided into chapters according to season, she has soups for spring, summer, fall and winter. The personal stories she tells about sharing her soups with friends and family will make you want to have a big soup party so you can spend time with your loved ones and feed them a nice comforting bowl of soup made with love.

Chao Grilled Cheese
I didn’t really follow a recipe for this soup, I just made it up as I went along with a bunch of different things I had in the fridge. I made a nice, toasty vegan grilled cheese sandwich to go along with it and it was SO good. “Real” sliced cheese has nothing on these delicious slices of coconut and black pepper flavoured Chao vegan cheese slices I got from Whole Foods. And YES – it melts! And is gooey, stretchy and cheesy just like the real stuff. You won’t go back after trying these slices – trust me. Even if you don’t want to go vegan I’d still recommend them in sandwiches. The combination of sweet coconut and savoury oregano and pepper is just amazing. And this is coming from a person who typically hates black pepper!

Pea and Asparagus Soup
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Serves: 4-5 bowls
 
Ingredients
  • 1 box Batchelor's bigga dried peas (soaked with tablet overnight)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 bundle Asparagus, stalks snapped off
  • 1 tetra pack vegan vegetable broth
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil leaves
  • whatever seasonings you like, to taste
  • coconut milk to thin as needed
  • something acidic like lemon juice or vinegar
  • nice evoo to garnish
Instructions
  1. Soak the Batchelor's dried peas with the soaking tablet in water overnight. Using fresh peas would be better, but I had these to use up so I used them.
  2. Dice and saute onion and celery until translucent, add garlic and saute until fragrant
  3. Add asparagus, breaking into pieces and sauteing until cooked
  4. Add any dried spices now so they can fry in the oil for a minute or two and release even more flavour - use whatever you like, I was sticking with a green theme and used some herbs de provence and a big pinch of cumin because I like cumin very much.
  5. Add veggie broth (making your own is easy and preferable but I'm usually too lazy to do it).
  6. Let simmer for a few hours (depending on how hungry you are and how much time you have, at least 20-30 minutes would be good)
  7. Blend with an immersion blender or by working in batches with a standing blender. Add water or coconut milk to thin as needed.
  8. Taste and season again, adding salt, pepper, lemon juice or whatever you feel it needs
  9. I garnished with the tips of some of the asparagus and some quality extra virgin olive oil
  10. Serve with a nice crusty bread or toasty, crunchy, gooey vegan grilled cheese sandwich. Yum!

Let me know what kind of tasty green spring soup you made! Did you use a recipe? Did you check out Anna Thomas’s book? Leave a comment below.

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