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Simply in Season
by Mary Beth Lind, Cathleen Hockman-Wert

Using nonfat dry milk powder allows you to increase the nutrients and "creamy-ness" without the fat, notes contributor Mary Beth Lind. "Most of my old cream soup recipes called for real cream. Now I seldom cook with cream but I still like a 'fuller' taste, so I use extra dry milk powder."
Serves 4

    • 1 pound / 500 g asparagus

Cut off tip ends and blanch until just tender, 3-5 minutes. Drain (saving water for some of the broth) and set aside asparagus tips. Chop the spears, peeling the tough ends first if needed.

    • 2 cups / 500 ml water or broth
    • 1 medium  potato (peeled and chopped)
    • 1 small onion (chopped; optional)
    • 1 stalk celery or celery leaves (chopped; optional)

Cook with chopped asparagus spears until soft, 15-20 minutes. Remove  from heat, cool slightly and puree until smooth. Return to heat.

    • 2 cups / 500 ml broth
    • 1 cup / 250 ml dry milk powder
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • salt and pepper to taste

Blend separately. Add to soup and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens slightly.

    • 1/2 cup / 125 ml plain yogurt

Drain yogurt slightly through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Place a dab of yogurt in each bowl and pour hot soup over it. Garnish with the reserved asparagus tips.

Summer/fall options: Substitute broccoli, cauliflower or leeks (not in combination) for the asparagus spears, lengthening cooking time of vegetables as needed.

Mary  Beth Lind, Harman, West Virginia; Jill Heatwole, Pittsville, Maryland


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