There is nothing particularly complex about these ingredients, and that’s what makes this so fresh and delicious. Simplicity allows the flavours of the quality products to shine through.
One of my favourite things to do come this time of year is to visit the weekly farmer’s market. I get so much inspiration from the seasonal produce. One of the challenges is to reign myself in so I don’t get too much and have it spoil before I get a chance to use it. One of the ways I control myself is by picking those things which absolutely sing to me. This past weekend, those ingredients were the spring-favourite, asparagus, and gorgeous shiitake and oyster mushrooms. As soon as I got them these dishes popped in my mind. I also picked up some amazing sourdough bread to complete my dish.
A few notes on the recipes:
Garlic Beans & Mushroom Toast
I have a pressure cooker, so I made the beans up from dried navy beans I had on hand. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, then use canned beans.
I only had dried thyme on hand, but you can use fresh thyme–I would just double the amount. Although any fresh herb would be great–dill or parsley–I just wanted to play on the earthiness of the mushrooms.
Garlic Toast: I toasted sliced sourdough in the oven (350F for about 7 minutes on each side). Then I rubbed each side with a large glove of garlic. That is the base that I used for the beans.
White wine: You can always opt for water or vegetable stock if you don’t like cooking with wine, or don’t have any on hand. You will cook down the wine such that the alcohol burns off.
Creamy Asparagus Soup
To prepare your asparagus, remove the woody ends by bending the end of the asparagus until it snaps off. Then cut the stalks in 3 to cook.
Nut milk is used to add a bit of creaminess, as are the cashews. You can use whichever type of dairy-free milk you like or have on hand. I used almond milk.
To blend my soup I like to use an immersion blender (the kind with a want that you stick right in the soup pot), but if you don’t have one of these, you can use a traditional blender. Just BE CAREFUL with the hot soup, blend it in batches and make sure you keep a hand on the lid–you should also ensure your blender lid has a vent to allow the heat to escape.