Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Seventy Five Degrees with a Chance of Soup

The weather this week didn't make me terribly interested in posting about soup.  It's been unseasonably warm here in Milwaukee -- to the tune of  75ºF and sunny -- which means that we've been spending our time firing up the grill and spending some time out on the patio.

Of course, that doesn't mean that the soup at our final soup night of the season weren't delicious.  In fact, we used the opportunity to showcase some delicious spring vegetables.

First -- there was a pot of brilliantly colored beet borscht made with homemade corned beef stock.  The soup was seasoned with garlic, onion, and dill.  We finished our bowls with a sprinkling of smoked blue cheese.
There was also a creamy asparagus soup -- which made full use of three pounds of fresh asparagus. The woody ends were used to make stock. The mid-stems were cooked and made into a silky puree. And the tender fresh tips were blanched and added as a last-minute garnishment.  The soup was seasoned with a hint of tarragon and finished with a bit of creme fraiche.
And, finally, we made a roasted potato soup with a rich porcini mushroom stock.  The earthy soup was so thick and delicious, we didn't even end up stirring in the last bit of heavy cream we thought we'd use to finish it.

Of course, we can't talk about soup night without mentioning that the company was also fantastic.  We had about 20 guests at our house Sunday -- including a couple of new food blogger friends.  This time around, it was Dan and Melissa Polley from A Duo of Chefs who decided to join in.   Julia (from Yulinka Cooks), Rebecca (from Cakewalk), and Jenn (from Mrs. Jenn Peters) also showed up, so we had a nice little blogger gathering going.  Next year, I'll be making it a point to invite even more of our online friends, since it was so much fun getting to know so many new people this year.

In addition to adding to the conversation, our guests brought an impressive array of desserts to supplement our soup feast.  We had homemade apple crisp, cheesecake bars, chocolate chip cookie dough brownies, butterscotch oatmeal cookies, and cupcakes, in addition to the chocolate hazelnut schaum torte we made for everyone to sample (We're finalists!  Vote for us here.).  Rebecca also brought the Orange Tian from her latest Daring Bakers Challenge.

It made me a little bit sad to bid farewell to the 2010 soup night season. But, as I sit in the office, warm breeze blowing through the open window, I'm fairly sure we'll be cooking up something new in no time!

Until then, we send all of you Happy Spring thoughts and wishes for a very Blessed Easter!


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14 comments:

  1. WOW this sounds like a fantastic night. Your asparagus soup, beautiful. I would like a bowl of that right now, even if it is almost 80 degrees outside. Wishing you a Blessed and Happy holiday! ♥

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  2. AWWW boy! I love soup! Especially when it's got something extra like asparagus and beet! It definitely loos like you covered the rainbow spectrum of veggies!

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  3. O I wish I could say we have sunshine!! On the plus side ; our weather is perfect for those lively soups !

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  4. Soup night looks and sounds fantastic! That mushroom and potato soup looks absolutely amazing, I'm salivating here!

    Good luck with the Il Mito contest, I've been voting for you and having the boy vote as well!

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  5. I'm going to miss reading about your soup nights!! Every one of those soups looks delicious. I love dill and beets, I'm a sucker for asparagus and tarragon, and that potato and porcini soup looks divine! We've been enjoying some unseasonably warm weather here too (it hit 78F yesterday!!!) but that's coming to an end and we're back to damp, chilly and gray as of next week. We KNEW it was too good to last!!

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  6. Love your title. So cute. The soups look great, too.

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  7. We're actually happy to say goodbye to soup season...bring on grill season!

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  8. I could so go for that asparagus soup. Yum.

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  9. Sounds lovely!! I can't believe I spent the sunny part of the day inside today canning jam. Weird? Maybe cold blueberry soup would have been more appropriate.

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  10. Its going to be 85 degrees here in NYC tomorrow - eeeep! I love soup year round, even hot! Though I admit I like chilled soups in the summertime. The asparagus soup you made looks delicious!

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  11. I love the idea of using asparagus to make stock. I cannot get enough of that tasty veg these days and now you've given me another way to get my fix.
    Thanks for sharing!

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  12. Seriously, I can eat soup no matter what the temperature is, it's that good. I definitely need to try this asparagus soup -- looks lovely.

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  13. Soup for any mood or weather -- that's whaqt you have here! Great recipes! Thank YOU!

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  14. I'm late to say this, but thanks for having us over. We had a ton of fun and the soup was great!

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