Tuesday, April 3, 2012
A Housewife's Work is Never Done: Cream of Asparagus Soup w/ Grilled Goat Cheese & Fig Sandwiches
More than once have I complained about the constant and cyclical nature of the work required to maintain a home and its occupants. You wash the laundry, it gets dirty. You vacuum and the cat continues to shed. And the windows? Well, should I ever manage to clean them all, I imagine that they too would quickly become spotted and bleary once again.
There is no clock to punch and no water cooler around which to chat (unless facebook counts) and yet it is not a job without its perks. Today, my 'job' was to host a lovely longtime friend and her adorable infant son for lunch. So, I drifted off to sleep last night coming up with menu ideas, went to the grocery first thing in the morning to gather the necessary supplies, and tidied up before their arrival.
So, yes, in actuality, my day was primarily filled with pleasant banter, laughing, cute kids, and good food. Still though, I did manage to go to the grocery and make the house presentable for guests. So in addition to being perfectly delightful, it was a productive day as well.
Grilled Cheese and Figs
Handful of dried figs
Little thing of goat cheese
Good bakery bread
Heat skillet over medium heat.
Brush one side of each piece of bread with olive oil.
Whir up a handful of figs in the food processor with a tbs of water (truthfully, I used a couple of blackberries instead of water for added moisture, but water would have worked great).
Spread goat cheese on the un-oiled side of one piece of bread.
Spread tbs or so of figs on un-oiled side of other piece of bread and mash the two halves together.
'Grill' on skillet for 2-3 minutes a side.
Cream of Asparagus Soup
1/2 stick of butter
1 onion diced
3 C vegetable broth
1 bunch (a pound?) of asparagus cut into chunks (1/2 in. to an inch or so)
Whatever fresh herbs you may have about (I used couple sprigs each of fennel and tarragon)
2 C of cream (Not milk. Cream. Milk will curdle.)
1 ts salt
1/4 ts freshly ground pepper
Melt butter in soup pot over med/med-high heat.
Saute onion for 2-3 minutes until softened and looking translucent.
Add asparagus and salt and saute for about 4 more minutes.
Add vegetable broth and herbs and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Blend until smooth with immersion blender or in batches using a real blender or food processor. Caution! Be careful blending hot liquids.
Add cream and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until desired consistency has been achieved.
Season with pepper, check to see if it needs more salt, and serve with grilled cheese, good friends, and some laughing but definitely no complaining.