I am a little late posting this today, so I am also adding a vegan dessert as a *BONUS! :) And yes, it does taste good. I wouldn't give you a recipe unless I had tried it myself and it was good. :)
Gluten-Free! Asparagus Soup
- 3 pounds fresh asparagus, rinsed
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup minced shallots
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, garnish
Trim the attractive top tips from the asparagus, about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in length. Cut the woody stem ends from each spear and reserve. Cut the remaining tender stalks into 1/2-inch pieces.
In a medium pot, bring the stock to a boil. Add the tough woody stems, lower the heat and simmer to infuse with asparagus flavor, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and discard, reserving the stock.
Add the decorative tips to the stock and blanch until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Remove with a strainer and refresh in an ice water bath. Drain on paper towels and reserve for the garnish. Reserve the stock.
In a medium stockpot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When foamy, add the shallots and leeks and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped asparagus stalks, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the reserved broth and simmer until the asparagus are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. With a hand-immersion blender or in batches in a food processor, puree the soup until smooth. Adjust the seasoning, to taste. If serving right away, return to medium heat and add the cream and reserved asparagus tips. Cook, stirring, until the soup is warmed through, about 3 minutes. Alternatively, if serving the soup later, do not add the cream and let cool at room temperature (or in an ice water bath). Cover and refrigerate. Before serving, add the cream and asparagus tips, and warm the soup gently over medium heat, stirring occasionally. To serve, place the soup in a soup tureen and sprinkle with cheese. Ladle into demi-tasse cups or small coffee or tea cups, and serve.
Vegan Chocolate Banana Coconut Pie
1 cup flaked unsweetened organic coconut
1 cup pecan pieces
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 cup mini dark chocolate chips, I used vegan chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 9-inch round pie pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Place all of the dry ingredients into a food processor bowl and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse sand. Add in the vegan butter and coconut oil and pulse several times in short bursts until the crumbs are moist and begin to fall away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough it to wet, add slightly more almonds, about a tablespoon at a time. Stir in chocolate chips.
Dump the crumbs into the pie pan and spread them evenly. Using your fingers gently press the crumbs across the bottom and up the sides- about 2/3 of the way up.
Bake in the center of the oven for about 15 minutes until set or until crust is golden.
Remove the pan and set aside and allow crust to cool completely.
To make filling:
5 small ripe bananas (about 1 lb.), peeled and broken into small pieces
1/4 cup unsweetened organic cocoa powder
1/4 cup agave nectar or coconut sugar
1 cup coconut milk (about 1/2 of can), I used light coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/4 cup almond slices, toasted
3 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
1 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
Combine bananas, cocoa, sugar, coconut milk and vanilla in the jar of a blender. Blend until very smooth, like thin cake batter, stopping to scrape down sides of jar and stir mixture to ensure all bananas are pureed. Stir in chocolate chips.
Pour mixture into cooled pie crust. Evenly sprinkle the top of pie with almonds, coconut, and chocolate. Cover very tightly with plastic wrap and freeze for a minimum of 4 hours, or overnight.
To serve, remove plastic wrap and set at room temperature for about 30 minutes (longer if pie was frozen for more than 4 hours), until pie is just soft enough to cut with a knife. Slice and serve.