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markem
10-05-2010, 02:31 PM
Looks like a good day for soup and maybe a nice salad. I've elected to fix a nice asparagus soup and a nice beet salad with prosciutto.

1 stick (1/2 c) unsalted butter
2 large yellow onions, coarse chop
4 cloves garlic, coarse chop
1.5 qts chicken stock (6 cups)
3 lbs asparagus, coarse chop, discard woody ends
1 bunch parsley, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
8 fresh basil leaves
1 Tbs dried tarragon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Melt butter in heavy sauce pan over low heat.
Add onions and garlic and cook until wilted, 25 minutes.

Add stock and bring to boil.

Add asparagus, parsley, carrots, basil, tarragon, salt, pepper and cayenne to the stock. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer covered until vegetables are tender (50-60 minutes).

Blend mixture and strain through medium sieve to remove woody bits.

Alternate: reserve asparagus tips and add to soup after straining. Be sure to allow to heat thoroughly before serving (10 minutes over low heat.)

The salad is easy: bake the beets, cool, skin, cut to favorite shape and then marinate in something quite tasty that may or may not resemble an apple vinaigrette along with a few simple, but fresh, herbs and some red onion. Add to greens and toss with prosciutto just before serving.

Much easier to make if one has an immersion blender. Springs of fresh tarragon make a nice garnish.