When I think about the first eight years of my life, growing up in the suburbs of Toronto, Canada, a few things come to mind:
- Snow (which we have had too much of this winter in Virginia)
- St. Patricks Day (I went to St Patricks School- so this was an important day.)
My parents believed in growing fruits and vegetables organically at home for us kids. Strawberries, tomatoes, eggplants, okra, peas and asparagus where among the many things grown in our garden. I think they were especially proud of the asparagus though.
The garden gave us strawberries that turned into my mom’s simple but yummy strawberry pie and fresh tomatoes to slice and put in tomato sandwiches. I loved those even though they got a bit soggy in my lunch box.
I also loved how the fresh asparagus tasted straight off the plant– crisp, kind of like fresh peas. So much better than what it tasted like from the grocery store.
Mostly, we loved how the garden would freeze during the winter and turn into a beautiful ice skating rink for us to skate and enjoy all winter.
This asparagus soup is creamy but vegan. It gets its creaminess from the lentils as well as the potato. I only add a small potato because I do not want to dilute the flavor of the asparagus. I think a sweet potato would work well too but I would increase the spices to compensate for the sweetness. Turmeric, mustard seeds, cumin and coriander- all amazingly beneficial spices, come together with fresh asparagus, moong dal and a hint of coconut oil for a low calorie, but tasty, recipe for health.
1/3 cup moong dal (or split peas, red lentils)–> can find them at Whole Foods or Indian grocery stores
1 pound asparagus, hard ends trimmed off
1 small potato (about 125 grams)
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 cup + 3 cups water
salt to taste
cilantro to garnish
Soak the moong dal in about 1 cup of hot water for 15-30 minutes.
Dice the asparagus and potato, set aside.
Heat the coconut oil in a heavy pot. Add the mustard and cumin seeds.
When the mustard seeds start popping, add the asparagus and potatoes.
Add the soaked (drain the water) moong dal.
Add the turmeric, black pepper and coriander powder.
Add 3 cups of water. Mix well.
Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes (until the moong and vegetables are cooked).
Puree in a food processor or use an immersion blender.
Add salt to taste. Correct seasonings as needed.
Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve.