Inspiration for tonight's dinner: weather that simply can't make up its mind. Cold and drizzly one second, 80+ and downright muggy the next! Dressing for this kind of variation is enough to make anyone feel a little crazy, and coming up with dinner plans? Oof. You can start the day wrapped up in a big cozy robe with a big steaming bowl of oatmeal, and by the time you head home from work, a big icy margarita and some chips & salsa is sounding pretty great.
So, in this weeks' dinner tonight we shall attempt to address this silliness with a lovely asparagus soup to fight off any residual chill, and a refreshing radish salad. Alright spring, is it summer yet? We suppose with meals like this, we can hold out just a little longer.
1 tablespoon safflower oil
2 large scallions, thinly sliced into half-moons
1 1/2 pound asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Splash of Cognac (sherry or brandy will do)
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cups chicken stock or water
1 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
1/4 cup Greek yogurt, plus more for serving
1. Warm the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the scallions and cook for a minute to soften slightly. Turn up the heat to medium high, add the asparagus and salt and sauté, stirring occasionally, for a minute or two, until the asparagus turns a vibrant green.
2. Add the Cognac or sherry or whatever you're using, the nutmeg and a few generous grinds of black pepper. Cook for another thirty seconds and then add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the asparagus is just tender when pierced with a knife, another 3 or 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the tarragon.
3. Carefully purée the hot soup in two batches using a blender and adding half of the yogurt to each batch. Put the puréed soup through a medium-fine strainer to get rid of any fibrous bits. Taste the soup and add more salt and pepper if necessary. To reheat, bring the soup to just below a simmer over medium heat, ladle into individual bowls and add a dollop of yogurt to each.
The Grocery List
1 1/2 lbs asparagus
1 bunch radishes
We assume you have oil, yogurt (preferably Greek), pepper, salt, nutmeg, Cognac (or Sherry), lemon, anchovies, garlic and capers. If not, you'll need that, too!
1. Both of these recipes come together quickly, but the soup is actually the simplest of the two. Start out by making the salad from start to finish and then setting it aside.
2. With the radish salad resting at room temp, make the soup. Just a quick saute and whizz with an immersion blender (or regular blender) and you've got a soup and salad supper fit for a king!
3. That's it! Really! This weeks' dinner tonight is killer, no? Now you'll have to find something awesome to do with the rest of the evening -- feet up with a glass of wine and a copy of Bossypants sounds pretty good.
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