Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Inspired By: Hausfrau's Thursday Blog Hop

I really wanted to take Audrey up on her Thursday Blog Hop idea.  The theme was so promising: "Inspired By."  It got me thinking about the things that inspire me, about role models.  There are lots: the people at my fellowship, who are generous to a fault in the name of social justice; the people I have met in the blogging community, who write so poignantly and take such amazing photographs; my yoga teacher; great poets and poetry.  What to choose?

For some reason, I felt stuck.  The things I had on the menu for the week (because really, mostly what I'm making these days is just food) weren't really inspired by any of those amazing people.  But as I thought about it some more, I decided I am inspired by spring this week.  It's been teasing us here on the East Coast of the U.S.: after an almost eighty degree day, we're back in the 50s with rain.  But I can tell it's coming because of the vegetables that are now in season.  I love the vegetables of spring; their arrival in the farmer's markets remind me of the promise of renewal, of life defiantly nudging itself up out of the ground, after a long, dreary winter.  Though we haven't started our garden yet, there are tomato plants under a grow light in the basement, and whenever I peek down there, the eerie glow makes me smile.

The idea for this soup came from the Monastery Soups cookbook I've been telling you about (so I guess it's inspired by that, too), but I adapted it a bit.  First, you can't have too much asparagus.  Second, I think vegetables are almost always better in soup if they've been roasted first.  And third, though cream is lovely, milk will do just as well.

Tell us, what has inspired you lately?  Here's the rest of the hop:

Cream of Asparagus Soup

1 lb. asparagus
1 sliced onion
2 T. olive oil
2 peeled and diced potatoes
1 sliced carrot
8 c. water
1 c. milk (or cream if you must; you could also thicken with arrowroot or a white sauce)
creme fraiche (for fun)

Preheat oven to 400.  Drizzle oil over asparagus on onion on a prepared baking sheet, and season with salt and pepper.  Roast for about 45 minutes, until browned and tender.  Boil the water in a large pot and add the asparagus, onions, carrots, and potatoes.  Cook until the potatoes and carrots are tender, and blend well in a blender or with an immersion blender.  Add the milk, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cover the pot to allow the soup to simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve drizzled with a little creme fraiche, if you like.  Enjoy on one of those spring days that is a little cool and rainy, and imagine the taste of the season to come.
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  1. I bet my hubby would really enjoy this soup, perhaps I'll give it a try. My garden always inspires me, too, and since we've been having almost summer weather here for quite a while, our garden is already bursting with promise. I love going out there to pick fresh the veggies we need for dinner, it just feels so grounding. Can't wait to be able to do that soon.

  2. That soup is lovely! I actually find that making soup is inspiring. There's something about a pot of soup simmering on the makes a place feel like home. I've been inspired by the sunshine lately!

  3. i love soup, & i love that book! makes me wish for summer & veggies in the garden. :)

  4. I love to cook and bake and absolutely love trying new recipes. I definitely need to expand my horizons with some soup recipes. Maybe this will be my next cooking adventure. :) There are definitely lots of things to be inspired by this time of year!

  5. Um..YUM. I'm absolutely going to hit up the farmer's market this weekend for ingredients and try this soon. Thank you for participating in the hop with this deliciously inspired recipe! And also for making me notice that my thumbnail link didn't take this morning *facepalm*

  6. Asparagus is one of the best tastes of spring. This soup looks inspired in more ways than one!

  7. That looks yummy. We have had wierd weather also. sunny and 60 yesterday, then by evening snowing. Crazy!

  8. We have a ton of asparagus in markets right now, and I was wondering what I should do with it. This is a great idea...going to try to make this, maybe this weekend :)

  9. Hi Justine! So nice to meet you...your recipe is well balanced, tangible and timed perfectly to take advantage of the fresh asparagus found everywhere. But your voice is equally as delicious, fraught with vivid imagery, a keystone to good writing in my honest opinion. From one former Angelean to another, much obliged for your wonderful comment :)

  10. Oh, it looks good (I must be feeling better:). I'm asparagus mad and this looks very, very nice. I know what you mean about the teasing weather, though. Yesterday, I had such a beautiful walk in the sunshine. And today, it's hard to believe. But it WILL come. It must:)

  11. Things that inspire....
    This blog steals a lot more of my time then it should.


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