Sunday, May 31, 2009

"P'otage" of Asparagus, White Wine & Lemon (Or "Creamy" Asparagus Soup Made with...Oatmeal!) for Souper Sundays

I chose this soup, "P'otage" of Asparagus, White Wine & Lemon for two reasons; the first because local asparagus was a reasonable price and looked good and the second; it uses cooked oatmeal to thicken it and make it creamy. I have used different things to thicken soup but never oatmeal, and I wanted to see if it made the soup creamy or mushy/gloppy. This recipe comes from Passionate Vegetarian by Crescent Dragonwagon (that has to be the best name ever I think!). It is a thick book full of lots of (over 1000) vegetarian recipes as well as little side notes and bits of information on cooking tips, ingredients, life, etc. 

Finding that her tastes and palate were changing and that the richness of her favorite Asparagus-Cheese Soup with White Wine was too much, Dragonwagon created this healthier, lower-fat version. She says:  "This soup has a creamy texture, but without that too-rich feeling a high-fat soup can leave in your mouth. Although this is sparked with lemon rind and white wine, the asparagus comes through loud and clear, lightly, brightly singing its springtime refrain unmuted. Its secret is...oatmeal. I know how improbable it sounds. But cooked in the stock and then pureed in the food processor with the asparagus stalks, it creates a smoothed out amalgamation that is as pleasing as it can be. After experiencing its delights, I have developed several other "p'otages."

"P'otage" of Asparagus, White Wine & Lemon 
Passionate Vegetarian by Crescent Dragonwagon
(Makes 4-6 Generous Servings)

6 cups vegetable stock
2 lbs fresh asparagus tough ends broken off, stems peeled if you want the finished soup super-smooth
1 1/2 cups uncooked oatmeal (rolled oats)
finely grated zest of 2 large lemons 
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 cups white wine
salt to taste

Bring 3 cups of the stock to a boil in a non-stick soup pot and drop in the asparagus. Cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Remove the asparagus from the stock. Let the asparagus cool slightly on a cutting board.

Meanwhile, add the oatmeal to the stock in the soup pot. Bring to a boil,turn down to a simmer, and cover. Cook, covered, for 20 minutes.

As the oatmeal cooks, stack the asparagus  and cut off the tips, reserving them. Slice the stalks. Place the asparagus stalks in a food processor with the lemon zest and nutritional yeast. 

When the oatmeal-stock mixture has cooked, add it too, to the food processor and buzz until smooth. Return this thick puree to the soup pot. Add the wine and the remaining stock. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook, stirring often, for about 20 minutes. Taste, adding salt until it's to your liking. Serve, garnished with the reserved asparagus tips. 

Notes/Results: Good--excellent in texture, maybe a bit heavy on the wine flavor for my taste. Several times throughout the cooking, I wondered at the wisdom of trying this recipe, especially as the combined smell of asparagus and oatmeal cooking was wafting through the kitchen. In the end, I put the mushy cooked oatmeal on top of the asparagus and other ingredients in my Vita-Mix Blender, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. I was surprised at how smooth and creamy the texture was and that there was no oatmeal smell or taste once it was all blended together. My only real complaint about this soup is that I wanted slightly less of a white wine taste, and after adding some lemon juice, I got that. Next time I would use just a cup or so of white wine and an extra cup of broth or some water and it would be perfect for me.

It was good served with a couple of the Moroccan-Style Bruschetta that I made for the Barefoot Bloggers "Barefoot on a Budget Challenge" and posted yesterday, for a hearty vegetarian meal.

Let's see who is in the Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sunday kitchen this week.

Starting with our soups:

Somehow I forgot to include her wonderful Matzo Ball Soup last week, (I went back and added it so if you missed it go take a look!), but there was no way I was going to leave out the fabulous Spicy Gumbo with Andouille and Bacon Wrapped Shrimp that L.K. from Healthy. Delicious. created this week! It is spicy, filling and soul-satisfying and taken over the top with the bacon wrapped shrimp garnish. L.K. says that it is "the kind of recipe that’s awesome right away, but even better the next day after the flavors have had a chance to meld."

I am so happy to see Singing Horse from The Peaceable Kingdom back this week and with a earthy and hearty Porcini Mushroom Soup. Adapting a recipe from Heidi at 101 Cookbooks, and adding some jasmine rice for extra texture, Singing Horse says that this soup is "a total comfort food for people who don't have too much time to prepare an elaborate meal but still desire a delish treat on a busy day."  Welcome back Singing Horse!

It is nice to have Donna from My Tasty Treasures back this week too. She decided to take advantage of some cooler, rainy weather in her area and a leftover ham bone to make a thick and filling Ham and Split Pea Soup. Slow simmered with potatoes, veggies and lots of green split peas, Donna says to "drizzle it with a little balsamic", "grab some crusty bread" and you will be all set to enjoy this delicious soup!

Ulrike from Küchenlatein has a low calorie Courgette/Zucchini and Potato Soup with Meat Balls to share this week. Ulrike says that this soup with it's low-calorie lean beef mince meatballs made with a teaspoon of quark cheese instead of an egg in them, is "really tasty" and also provides satisfaction for only 5 points if you are following the Weight Watcher's program. 

Making her first pot of Chicken Tortilla Soup is Lissaloo from One Step at a Time. It is hearty, filling and full of all kinds of good things like shredded chicken, black beans, veggies and spices. Although she found the soup to be "pretty good",  Lissaloo wants to tinker with the recipe on her next round to make it "perfect" and get even more flavor from additional spices. 

Stephanie from Dispensing Happiness is here with a Mirin Chicken with Ramen Noodles Soup this week. The chicken cutlets (or Quorn if making it vegetarian) are marinated with a reduction of mirin, soy sauce, broth, & sugar, then seared and sliced. Next it is added to some ramen noodles, a dashi stock is poured over the top and it is garnished with grated ginger & daikon matchsticks. Stephanie says "the noodles are fun" and "it is a good soup!"

And we have a couple of fun sandwiches this week too!

Our favorite pair, Crystal and Amir from The Duo Dishes, have taken the classic P,B & J to a new level with their Grilled Honey Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jelly Sandwiches. Featuring homemade peanut butter, (who knew it was so easy to make!?) and homemade jelly with fresh strawberries and port wine, then topped with bananas and grilled, this is one yummy sandwich!

Also elevating a classic is Joanne at Eats Well With Others who needed a quick. simple and delicious dinner after spending "a zillion" hours on plane rides back from a fabulous and fun vacation. She put a twist on grilled cheese with her Grilled Cheese with Artichokes and Red Peppers. With provolone, red bell peppers and artichoke hearts, and toasted like a panini, it was the perfect late night meal!

And we have one scrumptious looking combo!

Natashya from Living in the Kitchen with Puppies came up with a "Summer Soup & Sammie" combination, perfect for the warmer weather. First a bowl of Alan Harding's Chilled Cucumber Soup from The New York Times Country Weekend Cookbook, served with Curry Chicken Salad from The Barefoot Contessa, served on her homemade cranberry-pecan buns. A little curry powder in each dish, spices up this healthy, hearty meal.

An excellent turn out this week and lots of great soup and sandwich recipes! Thanks to everyone who joined in Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays this week. If you have a soup, salad, sandwich or combination of any of the above to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the sidebar for all the guidelines and details.

Have a great week!


  1. What a wonderful round-up. All these entries look amazing.

  2. Love the round up! Always so fun to see what everyone cooked up.

  3. what a soup, I am doing a give away its all because of you you inspired me it was so nice to get something, I thought I needed to do one, lol Rebecca

  4. At last, I'm in! Blogger is being very mean to me tonight.
    Great round-up, a big collection of yumminess. If only we could sample everything. :)

  5. Everything looks absolutely delicious. And I can't NOT smile when I say Crescent Dragonwagon, I mean...come on! :D

  6. amazing! I would have never thought oatmeal as a thickening for soup :) another great round-up too!

  7. Your asparagus soup sounds devine, I love oat meal.

    Thanks for the wonderful round-up


  8. Amazing round-up as usual. I am super intrigued by the oatmeal in your soup. AND by that cookbook. I'm always up for a hearty vegetarian meal!

  9. I trust you on the oatmeal, but it still sounds a bit out there for me!

  10. Ciao Your suop sound so good ! And Crescent Dragonwagon ??!! I thought it meant something !!

  11. What an interesting soup with all that oatmeal in it. Who would of thought? The end product looks delicious! And what a mouth-watering round-up, as always! I was trying to make it for this round-up yesterday but was just a little too late.

  12. Mmm - these are all great recipes this week!

  13. thank you for such wonderful surely try them out...Please check out the blog mentioned below its really cool....!!!im sure you'll love it!!!


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