Suffice it to say that I am ready for fresh local produce of the vernal kind. I try to keep my kitchen humming with the flavors of the season, but I am ready for a change. Here in upstate NY that change is occurring as this is the first week of asparagus. There has been waaaaay too much jammed into this week to include picking my own asparagus, but it is on the docket for next week for certain now that I have out-willed my husband into agreeing to a chest freezer. Yay! Victory at last! Stay tuned for the adventures of sweet local asparagus picking.
There are a few things in the garden that have been asking to end up on my dinner plate. Salad greens from the hoop house and fresh herbs have made their arrival known, and the chives are actually about to bloom already! Since I let them get to blossom I will take advantage of that next week, but in the meantime I decided that I should use up some of the greens in a soup.
On a business trip to Chicago for a conference, my thoughtful husband stopped at Crate and Barrel to pick up a little something for me. Aww. He chose this book: Sunday Soup, by Betty Rosbottom. While at first I was secretly wondering how you could walk into Crate and Barrel and come out with only a cookbook I have grown to love and appreciate this book for its seasonal organization and delicious recipes. I don’t always make soup on Sundays, but I almost always plan a soup from this book for the week. Soups are easy to make, let you use up some things that have been sitting in your fridge for a while, and are very economical. This week I had some less than pretty leeks, plenty of chives and frozen peas in abundance. Enter Sweet Pea Soup with Early Chives.
Luke and I also baked some wheat bread from Zoe Francois’ Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day, whipped up a vinaigrette from my opal-basil vinegar, and made our first real salad from the garden. A dinner light enough for a breezy spring day full of commitments and a breath of fresh air into what was seeming like an endless parade of winter vegetables. So get out your stock pot and make something other than minestrone!