Hello, Spring! Hello, Spring Salad with Asparagus, Artichokes, Pancetta, Pecorino, and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette!
I know the spring season has officially being in swing for over a month now here in the Northern Hemisphere, but where I live, much of spring is what I’ve dubbed Winter Lite. And Winter Lite the last two weeks has meant snow swirling around outside my window every other day.
Blessedly, this snow has not been sticking, but still. It’s almost May – where’s that spring thaw at, Mother Nature???
Finally, warmer temps are on the horizon here in Metro-Detroit (we’re predicted to hit 60 degrees tomorrow!), and it’s time to break out the celebratory foods – foods like this Spring Salad with Asparagus, Artichokes, Pancetta, Pecorino, and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette!
Because I’m still on an asparagus kick this spring, today’s post features this recipe for Vegan Cream of Asparagus Soup!
Why do I think asparagus is so great, besides being delicious? For one, it’s loaded with beneficial vitamins and minerals, such as folate, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. And according to an amazing book I read recently called Medical Medium Life-Changing Foods (which I explain more about in the Banana, Wild Blueberry, and Nectarine Smoothie Bowl recipe post), asparagus is alkalizing to the body and helps to battle cancer, inflammation, and nerve issues. HOORAY to that!
And why a vegan version of the soup? Well, I’m not vegan, but I often make vegan or vegetarian dishes because I HEART plants. When I was mentally cooking up this recipe for cream of asparagus soup, I decided to use plant-based methods for making it creamy rather than dairy-based ingredients because as much as it pains me to say it, dairy is NOT my friend at this juncture in my life (it’s never really been; I had to drink soy formula as a baby and experienced several years of intense lactose intolerance as a teen, but I was cool with the dairy for the last decade-plus – until recently. We’re definitely in a spat again.). So I’m trying to eat it sparingly and infrequently.
While I love being sans the dairy side effects, I long for the creaminess it provides to dishes. Enter the DELECTABLY CREAMY Vegan Cream of Asparagus Soup! It contains potatoes and nut butter, two ingredients that I’ve discovered are commonly used in vegan soup recipes as key components in providing plant-based creaminess.
Spring is here, and springtime means ASPARAGUS! I’ve been enjoying it since it came into season over the last month and was eager to incorporate it into a recipe. A creamy, lemony risotto seemed like the perfect fit. Parmesan cheese and lemon are two of the very best complements to asparagus that I can think of, so it’s a total match-made-in-heaven situation. And also, I pretty much look for every excuse to make risotto that I can think of.
Why do I adore making risotto so much? I love that while it requires vigilance and a little bit of time, I also find it to be a relaxed, easeful, almost ritualistic endeavor. As I stand watch over the risotto, intuiting when it’s time to ladle in more stock, to stir, I’m given an opportunity to slow down and truly be present to a beautiful culinary moment. And it doesn’t hurt that this beautiful culinary moment is slow enough in unfurling that I also have time to savor a glass of wine and catch up on DVR’ed shows – most recently, the latest two episodes of Girls! – while it’s doing it’s thing.