Asparagus Soup

On May 7, 2016, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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This is simple, quick recipe that only takes about 20 minutes to prep and make. Add a salad with some cut apples and red onions and some crusty bread to make it a meal.

Asparagus Soup
Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 bunch asparagus, tips and mid section cut into 2 inch pieces
1 quart vegetable broth
1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained
Lemony Pesto (recipe follows)

In a large pot saute onion in olive oil over medium-high heat until the onion begins to brown. Then add the asparagus, reserve the tips.  Cook for another minute.  Add the vegetable broth and let the pot come to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes at a simmer.

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Add the beans and blend the soup with a immersion blender to get a creamy texture.

When ready to serve, add the asparagus tips and lemony pesto. Cook for about 2 minutes and then serve.

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Lemony Pesto

1 tablespoon garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon black crushed pepper
1/2 cup fresh italian parsley

Grind all ingredients together in a food processor or using a mortar and pestle.

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Orzo with Walnut Pesto, Olives and Feta

On July 27, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I’m only a week away now from ending my time cooking at the hotel.  The house is ready August 1st and while I’ve enjoyed the challenge of making meals with a limited kitchen I am excited about having a full kitchen soon.

If you haven’t figured it out, it’s fairly easy making pasta in a small kitchen.  All I needed for this recipe was a 4 quarter stock pot that I had brought with me; though, Extended Stay America does have a small pan you can use to boil pasta.

The thing I constantly find I miss as I cook in a hotel kitchenette are bowls – mixing bowls to be precise. To get around this I’ll cook my pasta then drain it and use the pot I just made the pasta in as a mixing bowl.  For this recipe I combined the drained pasta, pesto, feta, olives and lemon juice.

I really like this recipe, for hotel cooking, because it takes only 10 minutes to make. I recommend buying some pre-made pesto. I found some Walnut Pesto at the Studio City Farmers Market last Sunday which was a nice substitution.

One pound of pasta makes enough for three meals so you can easily use this for a couple dinners and a lunch or a couple lunches and a dinner. Enjoy.

Full Recipe: Orzo Salad with Spinach Pesto, Olives & Feta.

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Cilantro-Parsley Pesto Pasta with Tomatoes and Feta

On October 2, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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A few fresh ingredients make this no basil pesto pasta enjoyable

There is always cilantro in the house now that we live in Texas. It’s mostly used for tacos or on the occasional vegetarian dish chopped up to enhance flavor to a dish. With an Italian heritage, it’s hard to imagine a pesto without basil. After trying this dish that I found on the food blog Blue Kitchen, I have to admit my pro-Basil pesto stance has changed forever.

Proving Pesto Does Not Require Basil

Making pesto is easy and making it fresh is far more flavorful than buying a ready-made store bought pesto that has half the flavor richness of a just-made pesto. I used walnuts for this version (you can use pecans or pinenuts.) There is no Parmesan cheese in this pesto so it’s also quite affordable to make.

Sweet 100s require more slicing, but they are worth it

For the tomatoes in the recipe, I went with some Sweet 100s; though, any grape tomato will work fine. I’ve become a big fan of the Sweet 100s since we started seeing these “tiny grape tomatoes” at the market. They are sweet, hence the name, and add a nice flavor to this dish.

Whole Foods is carrying more local products and for the feta cheese I opted for the local choice. The one I bought here in Dallas is from Brazos Valley. Brazos Valley is in the central region of Texas. I did some Googling and found out more about this local cheese maker. You can learn more on their website.

The cheese is a bit mild so if you like a stronger flavored Feta I’d recommend a Greek feta for this dish.

You can use any pasta that you like and I had every intent of making fresh linguine for this dish but forgot I ran out of eggs. The dried penne noodles worked better than I thought and are a good substitution.

Note: I only used half of the pesto in the recipe below. The other half I froze to use another time.

For the recipe: Give Basil the Night Off Cilantro-Parsley Pesto Takes Pasta in a Lively New Direction.

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