Savoring the Seasons: Still enjoying that asparagus, plus rhubarb

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For The Recorder
Published: 5/31/2016 6:07:09 PM

It was a great week for hearing from readers with questions and recipes. My friend, Diane Sievers, saw my musings about asparagus soup recipes that don’t include cream or milk. She sent me a simple creamy-textured-and-flavored asparagus soup recipe that doesn’t use cream or milk. I’m curious. Does anyone make asparagus soup without pureeing it? Please send your recipes!

Another friend, Garth Shaneyfelt, wrote to say he couldn’t find his newspaper clipping with the knotweed muffin recipe I’d shared a few weeks ago. He asked me to send him the recipe because he wanted to try it with rhubarb. I emailed it to him. You’re welcome to write to ask for recipes … or you can check out previous columns on The Recorder’s website under the Food and Farms section (click on tab for LIFE, then on tab for FOOD).

Matt Howell wrote asking me where I found the asparagus soup recipe I’d included in my column (he’d already made it twice!).For that asparagus soup, I got it from the national co-op grocers association at their website, which is: strongertogether.coop. I have found many great recipes there.

A few weeks ago, I heard from Trouble Mandeson that she’d made some rhubarb chutney. And, as always, I asked for the recipe. Here it is.

How are you enjoying all that asparagus and rhubarb? Please let me know your favorite recipes!

This week we’re eating… Asparagus Soup

Diane Sievers, South Deerfield

I wanted to let you know of a way to make asparagus soup without a potato or dairy. Saute shallot or onion in butter. Then add cut up asparagus (save tips aside). Saute until asparagus starts to turn a lighter green color. Add just enough chicken broth to almost cover the asparagus and cook until soft. Puree in blender until smooth. Put back in soup pot and add tips and cook until tender. I made this last weekend and people thought it had cream in it. The flavors are concentrated by not using so much broth and the blender makes it thick and creamy. I also make cream of broccoli soup using this method. If you aren’t avoiding dairy, sprinkle on some parmesan cheese. Excellent chilled, too!

Martha Stewart’s Rhubarb Chutney

As transcribed by
Trouble Erin Mandeson, Greenfield

Finely dice: 1 small onion or 2 shallots, 2 garlic cloves, 1 T. fresh peeled ginger root, pinch of coarse salt and saute in 1 T. olive oil until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add C. dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc), C. golden raisins and to C. sugar (I typically halve sugar in everything I make, but you can add more to taste at end of cooking) and 3/4 C. (6 oz.) of rhubarb (sliced crosswise inch thick). Bring to boil, simmer 5 minutes until rhubarb breaks up. Add another ¾ C. (6 oz.) of rhubarb, simmer another 5 minutes and you are done. I hot water bath canned mine so they’ll last longer. Otherwise, it is good in fridge for a couple of weeks. I had some on grilled chicken last night, super good. I really liked using wine instead of vinegar. Oh, at end, when tasting, if too sweet, add a bit of white wine vinegar to add a little tang.

Local food advocate and community organizer Mary McClintock lives in Conway and works as a freelance writer for Greenfield Community College, brand promoter for Goshen-based local food company Appalachian Naturals, and writer/editor for More Than Sound. Send column suggestions and recipes to: mmcclinto@yahoo.com


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