Monday, August 17, 2009

Light Summer Dinner

I am the Queen of soup and salad. I was a vegetarian (ovo-lacto + fish) for almost 20 years. When i became pregnant, I started to crave meat. It was ridiculous, I would dream of biting into veal sandwiches. Even biting into steak, which never appealed to me. I gave in. I figured if i was craving it, my body was probably in need of the nutrients. A year and half after baby #2, I am beginning to lose interest in meat. The truth is I really enjoy a diet high in vegetables and legumes. I am naturally drawn to these foods, and my body responds better to this lighter method of eating. So here is one of my favorite soup and salad combos.

Asparagus Soup

1 pound fresh asparagus
Olive oil cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons butter
1 sweet onion, diced
2 medium-size red potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus. Coat asparagus lightly with cooking spray, and arrange in an aluminum foil-lined jelly-roll pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.

2. Bake at 400° for 16 minutes or until tender and slightly browned, turning after 8 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool.
3. Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add onion, and cook, stirring frequently, 3 minutes or until tender. Add remaining butter, and stir until melted. Add potatoes, and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Stir in chicken broth. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium, and simmer 6 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

4. Chop asparagus into 1/4-inch pieces. Add chopped asparagus to soup; cook, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool 10 minutes.

5. Process asparagus mixture, in batches, in a blender or food processor 8 to 10 seconds or until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Return asparagus mixture to Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Yields 8 servings
Cindi Judson, Houston, Texas, Southern Living, MAY 2008
Notes: I love that this soup is made with potatoes and not cream. It's rich and flavourful without having to add the richness of cream.

Tuna and Cannellini Salad on a Tomato

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped chives
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans (5 oz. each) tuna*, preferably packed in natural juices, drained and broken into chunks
3 green onions, thinly sliced (ahhhh - any onion will do, I like red)
4 to 8 thick slices large heirloom tomatoes (we especially love Brandywine)
so picky - I go to garden - whatever is ripe, i eat!

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and chives. Add parsley leaves, beans, tuna, and onions and stir gently just until coated.

2. Arrange tomato slices on 4 plates and spoon tuna mixture on top, dividing evenly. Top each salad with a few parsley leaves if you like. Yields 4 servings

Sunset, AUGUST 2009

Notes, You can even use chickpeas instead of the cannellini beans. I also like to prepare dry beans. And, I use my tuna packed in oil. Callipo is one of my faves and it comes in a jar. I am not a fan of canned food.. I wish everything was bottled instead of canned.

Original recipes found at


  1. What a divine summer meal, darling!


  2. Mmmmm....looks so very yummy!

  3. my kind of dish! love it!