My leeks sprouted up from the dirt yesterday. As a first-time gardener, I have to say that it was quite the event. And by event, I mean, it was basically me alone in the yard acting like a crazy person: jumping up and down, clapping, squealing, shouting about leeks. I'm sorry if I am your neighbor.
I'm getting better, promise. I only squealed half as much when I saw the spinach sprouts emerging from the ground today. By the time the chard starts popping up, maybe I can tone it down to just jumping. Silently. We'll see.
I guess this means that spring is here. More rain. A little sun. A (hopefully) healthy veggie garden. And a whole lotta asparagus. Asparagus always looks so dainty and beautiful. And you can't beat fresh, tender asparagus when it's in season.
Even cats can't resist.
Speaking of cats, I helped my cat kill a fly yesterday. No, really. I lifted him onto the windowsill so he could see the bug he was hunting unsuccessfully from the floor. It was really cute and funny at the time. But today I kinda feel bad. It's that whole vegan guilt thing, ya know?
I suppose there's only one remedy for guilt which, of course, would be Creamy Asparagus and Fennel Soup (I promise no creatures were harmed in the making). This is a light, delicious soup perfect for spring that can be served warm or cold. It's free of wheat, gluten, soy, eggs, and dairy so it's a great crowd pleaser if you're trying to accommodate guests or family members with allergies. Or if you just want a really amazing dinner for yourself. The cat will just have to find dinner elsewhere.
Creamy Asparagus and Fennel Soup
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 fennel bulb, chopped (about 1.5 cups chopped)
2 leeks, ends removed and chopped
1 bunch of asparagus (about 3 cups chopped)
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon dried chives
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup rice milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Bend each piece of asparagus near the tough dried end until it snaps off at its natural breaking point. Discard ends, wash remaining asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces and set aside.
In a large pot over medium heat, saute garlic, fennel, and leeks in olive oil until soft (about 3 minutes). Add asparagus, herbs, broth, and rice milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until asparagus and is soft (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Puree soup using a blender. Add water if a thinner soup is desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with dried dill and serve.