Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Asparagus Soup with Baked Caprese

A vegetarian Valentine’s Day dinner so tasty and filling that my hubby didn’t even notice the missing meat!

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 small potato, cubed
2 lb asparagus, cut into 1” pieces
2 garlic cloves
Freshly cracked black pepper
½ cup cream or dollop of sour cream (optional)

In a large pot, add broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Add asparagus and cook for an additional 10 minutes. In batches, add mixture and garlic to a blender, puree until smooth. I like to save a little of the cooked potatoes and asparagus to add to the soup. Add soup back to pot over low heat and simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in cream if you desire, or add a dollop of sour cream before serving.

Baked Caprese:
A loaf of crusty bread, sliced
Marinara sauce
Fresh mozzarella, sliced
Red, ripe tomato
Fresh basil, sliced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brush EVOO on one side of bread. Toast until oiled side is crispy.

Spoon sauce over each crusty side of bread. Top with a slice of tomato and mozzarella; bake for 15 minutes. Broil for the last 2-3 minutes until cheese is brown and bubbly. Sprinkle with basil and enjoy.

NOTE: I found if you skip the toasting with oil step, the sauce and juices from tomato make the bread very soggy after baking.

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