Asparagus Leek Soup

1 1/2 pounds asparagus
3 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup minced leek
2 gloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup half-and-half or raw milk
3/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
Splash lemon juice (optional)

Cut asparagus into 1-inch chunks and simmer in chicken broth for about 5 minutes, until tender. In a small saucepan, melt butter and sauté leeks and garlic for five minutes on medium-low heat. Add flour and cook for one more minute.

Add the flour mixture to chicken broth and stir until thickened. Blend everything together until semi-smooth. Then return soup to sauce pan, add raw milk, thyme, and salt and pepper. Simmer everything for five minutes and then top with optional parmesan and lemon juice.

Have you tried this recipe? Tell us how it turned out!

Nettle Soup with Potato

Nettles

Don’t be afraid of nettles — they’re tasty and nutritious!

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 pound potatoes, peeled and chopped
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth, or water
1/2 pound stinging nettles
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
Sour cream, yogurt, or horseradish cream (optional)

In a large pot, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 3 minutes. Add potatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook 15 minutes. Add nettles and cook until very tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter, pepper, and nutmeg.

Puree soup with an immersion blender or in a blender or food processor in batches. For a silken, less fibrous texture, run mixture through a food mill or sieve.

Stir in cream, if using. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if you like. Serve hot, garnished with sour cream, yogurt, or horseradish cream. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

We thank LocalFoods.About.com for this recipe.

Have you tried this recipe? Tell us how it turned out!

Bay Leaf Beet Soup

A bunch of golden beets

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Wrap beets in foil.

Bake the beets until tender, about 1 hour; allow to cool, then peel the beets. Cut them into bite-size chunks.

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat and cook the red onion, leek, and garlic until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour in the vegetable broth, and mix in the beets, bay leaves, cinnamon, salt, black pepper, oregano, basil, cinnamon, cumin, and tarragon. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until the flavors of the bay leaves and spices are blended, 20 to 25 minutes. Pick out bay leaves.

Ladle about 1/4 of the beets into a blender, and add soup liquid as needed to fill the blender about 1/4 full. Hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen towel, and carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the beets and broth moving before leaving it on to puree. Puree the beets until smooth, and pour back into the soup.

Have you tried this recipe? Tell us how it turned out!

Sunchoke Soup with Brussels Sprouts

sunchokes handful

Did you know that sunchokes can make the base for a lovely soup? Try it yourself!

1 1/2 pounds sunchokes, scrubbed, dark spots removed
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 can (13.5 ounce) coconut milk
1 quart vegetable broth
1 1/4 cups sliced brussels sprouts
1/4 cup chopped roasted hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coarsely chop sunchokes and place in bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat evenly. Spread sunchokes on two large rimmed baking sheets. Roast until tender.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pot over medium heat and add shallot. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.Stir in coconut milk and broth and bring to a simmer.

Heat remaining oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook brussels sprouts, stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to brown. Transfer roasted sunchokes to broth and blend, using an immersion blender or regular blender in batches until smooth. Add more liquid if necessary and season to taste with salt. Ladle into 6 bowls and top each with some sprouts, hazelnuts and a thin drizzle of olive oil.

We thank Sunset Magazine for this recipe.

Have you tried this recipe? Tell us how it turned out!

Roasted Vegetable Bisque

1 bunch leeks, quartered
2-3 turnips, cut into 1″ cubes
2-4 carrots, quartered
2-4 stalks celery, quartered
1 bulb garlic, raw, cloves separated, paper and skin removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cups broth (whatever kind you prefer)
1-2 cups water

Place prepared vegetables and olive oil in plastic bag and toss to coat evenly. Place on ungreased baking sheet and spread out so they don’t touch. Roast 15 minutes at 425 F, turn over, and roast another 15 minutes until golden brown (caramelized) on both sides.
Transfer roasted vegetables to soup pot. Add broth and enough water to cover vegetables. Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes. With ladle or measuring cup, transfer soup to food processor or blender and puree until smooth (may have to do in batches).

Serve in soup bowls and top with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream. Serves 4.

We thank Chef Annie McHale of Port Angeles for this recipe.

Have you tried this recipe? Tell us how it turned out!

Squash Apple Soup

squash at the farm store

Warm up with this seasonal soup!

1 medium-sized squash, any kind
1 large onion
4-6 large apples
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
2 quarts chicken stock, divided
Salt and pepper to taste

Bake squash until soft. Chop onion and apples until you have a good onion-to-apple ratio. Heat a large soup pot on medium, melt butter and saute the onions/apples, plus rosemary until soft.

Blend squash and about 1 cup chicken stock until smooth. Blend the onions and apples with about 2 cups chicken stock until smooth. Combine and add about a quart more of chicken stock, and salt and pepper to taste.

Options: Add fennel, sage or ginger. The rosemary is a MUST.

We thank farm-friend Ellen Russell for this simple but fabulous recipe.

Have you tried this recipe? Tell us how it turned out!

Pumpkin-Apple Soup with Camp Fire Cheese

Cheese from Mt Townsend Creamery

Smoked cheese plus an autumnal soup makes for warm fuzzies on a cool day.

4 pounds pie pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch chunks
4 large sweet-tart apples, such as empire, cameo or braeburn, unpeeled, cored and cut into eighths
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh sage
6 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted (optional)

Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss pumpkin (or squash), apples, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread evenly on a large-rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring once, for 30 minutes. Stir in sage and continue roasting until very tender and starting to brown, 15 to 20 minutes more.

Transfer about one-third of the pumpkin (or squash) and apples to a blender along with 2 cups broth. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a Dutch oven and repeat for two more batches. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and heat through over medium-low heat, stirring constantly to prevent splattering, for about 6 minutes. Serve each
portion topped with hazelnuts and a generous amount of shredded Camp Fire cheese
from Mount Townsend Creamery.

Have you tried this recipe? Tell us how it turned out!

Aquacotta-Tuscan Peasant Soup

4 cups onions, sliced 1/3 inch thick
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt
3 cups celery, chopped fine, including leaves
3 cups savoy or green cabbage
2 cups lacinato kale, sliced fine
1 cup firm tomatoes, peeled and seeds removed
8 leaves basil
Broth, vegetable or chicken
1/3 cup dried Nash’s kidney beans, soaked, cooked and drained
12 slices day old bread
1/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
6 eggs

Place onion, salt, and olive oil in a pan and cook until onion wilts. Add celery, cabbage, and kale, and stir. Add tomatoes, basil, and broth until all veggies are covered by 2 inches, and simmer 2-3 hours. Add beans and pepper to taste.

Toast bread and soft-cook the eggs. Don’t overcook because you want the yolk runny. Place a piece of toasted bread in bottom of soup bowl, ladle the soup on top, sprinkle with some cheese, and top with an egg.

From Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazen.

Have you tried this recipe? Tell us how it turned out!

Celeriac & Apple Soup

Celeriac, or celery root

Celery root, a.k.a. celeriac, is a versatile vegetable. In this recipe it contributes to a super-tasty soup!

1/2 stick butter
4 cups celeriac, peeled and cubed
3 cups tart apples, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped chives
1/2 cup grape seed oil or other mild oil
Pinch of salt
3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta (Italian bacon)

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add celeriac, apples and onion. Cook until apples and some of celeriac are translucent but not brown, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Add broth, cover and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, covered, until celeriac and apples are soft, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth, adding more broth if you prefer a thinner consistency. Return soup to pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The soup, to this point, can be done ahead. Keep refrigerated.

Puree chives, oil, and pinch of salt in blender until smooth. Roast the pancetta in a single layer in a 375° oven until browned and crispy. Drain on paper towels, then crumble.

Rewarm soup over medium heat. Divide among bowls and sprinkle each with pancetta crumbles. Drizzle each bowl with chive oil.

We thank Epicurious.com for this delicious recipe.

Have you tried this recipe? Tell us how it turned out!

Cucumber Almond Soup

Lemon cucumbers

Lemon cucumbers are named for their lemony-yellow coloring. They taste like normal cucumbers, and their insides are filled with sweet seeds.

6 larger lemon cucumbers
1 smaller lemon cucumbers
4 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup toasted almond slivers
2 slices stale bread, cut into rough pieces
2 tablespoons grape seed oil (or other mild oil)
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1/4 cup cold water
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Pinch white pepper
1 large leaf basil for garnish
1 teaspoon lemon zest for garnish

Thoroughly wash and dry cucumbers. Slice 1/4 inch off the top (stem side) of the 6 larger cucumbers. Using a spoon and knife as needed, scour and scoop out the insides of cucumbers and put the insides in a blender. Set the “bowls” aside. Dice the smaller cucumber and set aside.

Mince the garlic and sprinkle with salt. Using the back of a wide knife blade, work the salt and garlic together until it forms a smooth paste. Scrape up the garlic and add to blender.

Add toasted almonds to blender, reserving a couple for garnish. Pulse blender to start processing the ingredients. Add the bread and continue to process.

When the mixture is fairly smooth, slowly add the grape seed oil and combine well. Next add the plain yogurt and process again until well combined. Finally add the cold water and lemon juice. Taste and season as needed with white pepper.

Stir (not blend!) the diced cucumber into the soup. Carefully spoon the soup into the cucumber “bowls.” Chill for at least an hour. Before serving, garnish soup with ribbons of basil, a pinch of lemon zest and an almond sliver. Serve immediately.

Have you tried this recipe? Tell us how it turned out!