Food: Asparagus Soup is one of our favorite recipes from Salute to Healthy Cooking. Since it freezes perfectly, we make big batchs in the spring to enjoy all year long. Enhanced with the addition of a swirl of Boursin cheese and Finn Crisp with melted Swiss cheese, it is delicious and even low in calories.
One and a half pounds asparagus ½ c onion, roughly chopped 1 cup potato in 1″ dice 5 cups chicken stock 4 oz raw chicken breast cut into 4 pieces salt & pepper per serving: 1 and ½ tsp Boursin cheese 4 pieces of Finn Crisp crackers 1 ½ oz Swiss cheese [1 deli slice]
Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus and cut spears roughly in half. Pour the chicken stock into a sauce pan. Add the onion and asparagus. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables so that it will steam/poach while the asparagus is cooking. Bring the liquid to a simmer and put on a lid. Remove the chicken when it is cooked and put it in the blender. When the vegetables are cooked, remove them from the stock and put in the blender. Cook the potato in the pot and cook until soft. Pour the stock and the potatoes into the blender with evrything else. Blend until smooth. Return to the pan and season to taste. Cool and divide into 6 portions to serve or freeze. Put 1.5 tsp Boursin in the center of the hot bowl of soup and swirl it around to mix slightly. Cut the slice of cheese into 4 strips, 4” x 2”, and put a portion on each cracker. Warm in the oven until cheese melts.
Wine: 2013 Dutcher Crossing Chardonnay (Costello Vineyard)
Dutcher Crossing has long been one of our favorite wineries. We visited them on an extended drive through Sonoma County a few years back. Their winery is located in the beautiful Dry Creek Valley, though they have vineyards in several areas of Sonoma. Their chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, and zinfandel are all excellent. This particular chardonnay is made from grapes grown in the nearby Alexander Valley.
Tasting notes: A lovely melon and honeysuckle fragrance is detected on the nose. Gentle flavors of tropical fruits (notably pineapple) and peach highlight the palate and finish. A light touch of oak and some bright acidity help provide a nice balance to the flavorful fruit. ‘The natural cooling provided by the high elevation of this Costello vineyard on the Alexander Valley’s eastern slopes provides an ideal climate for chardonnay. Asparagus can be a challenging food to pair with the right wine, but this wine compliments perfectly the delicate flavors of the asparagus soup.
A source: One can purchase this wine directly from Dutcher Crossing at their website www.dutchercrossingwinery.com