Good morning, munchkins!…

Good morning, munchkins! Did you have a good evening?

Dinner went splendidly, though there was much frantic cooking at the last minute, and vast assistance from Ryan, Sharmi *and* Kevin -- otherwise, we would've been eating at 9 instead of 8. I'm usually pretty good at timing things, but sometimes I really underestimate how long chopping will take. That's usually what gets me. In the end, I half-finished the asparagus soup and then left it for Kevin to finish properly, and he ended up doing the lamb from beginning to end because I was busy with other things. Sharmi and Ryan washed dishes all the way through the cooking process, so there were *none* when we sat down to eat, *and* they made the garlic aioli and assembled the bruschetta -- no small feat! Good job by all.

Everything came out tasty, though to my mind, the lamb was least exciting (and at the price, I doubt I'll bother to make rack of lamb again anytime soon). People were particularly pleased with the goat cheese-beet salad and the fennel-potato gratin. Or at least I was, and I'm people, right?

The asparagus soup came out rather yummy too, and since M'ris asked for the recipe, here you go. Enjoy!

Asparagus Soup - serves 6-8

  • 3 pounds fresh asparagus
  • 2 T butter
  • 6 c. chicken broth (Swanson's is best)
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 1/2 c. whipping cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Trim the woody ends from the bottom of the asparagus spears and cut the spears into 1 inch pieces.

  2. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently, until they are bright green, but not browned.

  3. Add the broth and bring to a boil over a high heat, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Simmer over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until the asparagus is tender, yet crisp. Reserve 12-16 of the asparagus tps for garnishing. Season with salt and pepper, cover and continue cooking for about 15-20 minutes until very tender.

  4. Puree the soup in a blender and pour back into the saucepan. (For a really smooth soup, pass it through the fine blade of a food mill as you return it to the pan. We don't have a food mill, so we didn't do that step. Came out fine.) Bring the soup back to a boil over medium-high heat. Blend the cornstarch with 2-3 T of cold water and whisk it into the boiling soup to thicken it. Stir in the cream and adjust the seasoning.

  5. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top each with a few of the asparagus tips.

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