Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Apr 18, 2011

Spring Asparagus Cheddar Soup

Libations used: 3 Tbs sherry, 1 cup white wine
Libations left over: Save that sherry for cooking later, and serve the white wine for dinner.
I am being bombarded with asparagus every time I visit the farmer's market - and I love it.  It's such a pretty and tasty vegetable and represents spring to me.  I keep coming across so many recipes for asparagus that I could be eating it for weeks.  I'm running a blog here and I can't expect my lushes to be eating asparagus for a month straight, so I'll stick with one...for now...

We're still experiencing some weird cold snaps in LA, so I thought a soup would be fitting.  Props to the Lush Chef's dad (and fellow blogger) for pointing out Michigan Wines for tons of tasty recipes with wine.  This soup calls for 2 libations, and comes from Chateau Chantal, a Lush Chef family favorite that's located on the Old Mission Peninsula just outside Traverse City.

Spring Asparagus Cheddar Soup - serves 4-6

  • 3 Tbs butter 
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 cups diced asparagus - reserve the tips and slice them in half
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1/4 cup diced fennel bulb (you can also use celery)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbs dry sherry
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (or chicken)
  • 1 cup white wine - I used my standby of La Finca chardonnay
  • 2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
  • 2-3 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper
- In a soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the onion, asparagus stalks, carrot and fennel.  Cook for about 2 minutes or until they soften.
- Add the flour and cook for about 2 minutes, until it begins to stick to the bottom a little.
- Add the sherry, scraping the bottom of the pot, and let it cook almost all away.
- Whisk in the vegetable broth and white wine, making sure to scrape up anything from the bottom of the pot.
- Bring the soup to a boil, then lower it to simmer for about 10 minutes, uncovered.
- Let the soup cook, and pour yourself a glass of wine.
- Once it's cooled a bit, puree the vegetables in a blender.
- Put it back in the soup pot and add the asparagus tips.  Cook until they're tender.
- Take the soup pot off the heat, and stir in the cheese slowly.
- Add the fresh thyme, and season with salt and pepper to taste.