Roasted Asparagus and White Bean Soup
I’m sure this won’t come as a shock to anyone, but I can’t get enough asparagus right now. And I’m OK with that. Because I wait 11 months every year to eat the best asparagus of all time. I have been participating in The Food Matters Project for several months now and it has really impacted the way I cook because I have decided that I want to incorporate as many local ingredients as possible into the meals as well as add my own twist to it. As a brief overview, The Food Matters Project is a weekly blog post following a schedule of recipes from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters cookbook. This week the recipe was for Roasted Asparagus and White Bean soup and it did not disappoint.
I started by chopping two leeks from the farmers market and sauteing them in oil for a couple of minutes with 1 tablespoon of garlic and 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary. I decided to use a ham hock from Meadow Haven Farm in my soup so the night before I boiled it in water for about an hour. This soup doesn’t take very long to cook so I wanted to give the ham hock a head start. I added 6 cups of vegetable stock, peeled and diced 2 potatoes, drained 1 can of white beans and added it all to the pot along with the ham hock, brought it to a boil and allowed it to simmer for about 30 minutes until the potatoes were very tender.
Meanwhile, I roasted the asparagus on 450 for about 5 minutes until it was tender. I sprinkled with some salt and chopped it roughly so it added a nice texture to the soup. When I added the asparagus to the soup, I also added another drained can of white beans. I removed the ham hock and tore it apart. It was a very surreal experience… being elbow deep in pig grease, but it was delicious. Once everything was heated through, I shaved some thick slices of Parmesan overtop to add just a little extra oomph. This soup is delicious. And it’s more local than not, so we’re making progress! The little local additions to your meals really do add up and they can make a tremendous difference to the farmers and/or vendors you choose to support. Take a chance and buy something (like a ham hock) that you have no idea how to use and then just go for it. I bet it will end up a great success.
Kelly Hewitt cooks her way through life forcing herself to try new things. Her obsessions include canning and learning how to grow her own vegetables this summer! Kelly loves cooking fairly minimally and buying food from people that she actually knows. Catch up with Kelly’s blogging at eatatkellys.blogspot.com