I finally handed in my dissertation on Monday and although I still have exams to revise for I feel like a massive weight is off my shoulders. In other news, spring has finally arrived! The days are getting warmer and although we’re being treated to some April showers at the minute in Glasgow, I’ve been cheered up by the thought I’ll no longer have to wrap up in a scarf and gloves.
I’ve been blogging a lot of ‘spring’ dishes recently and I’ve added this one to my repertoire. Now I know avocados and asparagus aren’t very ‘student budget’ ingredients but the bulk of this soup is made up of left overs and if you shop about you can buy avocado’s and asparagus at a reasonable price. I got a massive bunch of asparagus in Morrisons for £2.50. I put it as a side in three meals for myself and my boyfriend and kept the stalks so I could make this soup, so I really got my money’s worth. Aldi usually have cheap avocados too and these ones were reduced so if you shop about then the dish doesn’t have to break the budget.
You will need:
3 cloves of garlic
1 large red onion
a bunch of mushroom stems (I used the stalks of a small box of mushrooms I’d used up during the week)
4 medium sized potatos, peeled
3 large handfuls of washed spinach
the stalks of about 450g of asparagus
2 soft avocados, peeled and cut into small chunks
a squeeze of lemon juice
200 ml of cream (I used full because I had it in the fridge but single cream is fine)
Gluten Free rolls (I used the 79p ones from Sainsbury’s)
a medium sized egg
a sprinkle of dried tarragon
Begin by peeling your potatoes and boiling them in a pot of water. As your potatoes are cooking, fry the garlic and onion in a pan with a tbsp of oil and once softened add the mushrooms stems. Leave to the side once cooked.
Once your potatoes are cooked, add the asparagus and cook for five minutes, finally add the spinach and take off the heat. Drain the water into a bowl. It should be a brilliant colour of green (there’s no need to use stock to this soup as it should be flavoursome enough with just a little seasoning). Now add the mushrooms, garlic and onion to the pot
Add a ladle full of the water and start to blend (I used my trusty hand blender, I seriously can’t stress enough how useful and reasonably priced these are), gradually adding the water as you go until you get to your desired consistency. Once you’ve done that, add the avocado and blend again, making sure the soup is smooth.
I had a friend who’s vegan come over for dinner so at this point I separated some of the soup in to another pot and put it on a low simmer. To the vegan option, I added some tarragon, a small squeeze of lemon juice and some salt and pepper. My friend said it was amazing and he didn’t know why I added cream to it because the vegan option had a great consistency and was an great vivid green.
If you do choose to add cream, stir well and keep on a low simmer until you plan to serve.
I’ve noticed that adding a poached egg to soup seems to be the food fad of the moment so I thought I’d try it and I must say it was incredible. I poached my egg for three minutes as I like a very runny yolk and when this oozed in to the soup it was delicious.
I cooked the rolls in the oven for a while (I find you have to do this so often with GF bread) then added some Brie I had in the fridge and allowed it to melt slightly. I used Brie because it was the only cheese I had in the fridge but I imagine Port Salut would go well with this dish, particularly the saltiness of the cheese used to mop up the yolk of the egg and soup.
I sprinkled a little bit of tarragon on top to serve and dived right in.
I was really worried that this soup would be bland and tasteless but it was far from it and was really filling. Perfect for a rainy April day.