Cream of asparagus SoUp

Tasty and light for a cool night. I don’t keep whole milk or cream on hand, so 2% milk for me it is. This can easily accommodate a pareve or vegetarian menu by swapping out the chicken broth for pareve chicken broth.


  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 lb.  asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1″ pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried chopped onions ( 1/4 cup fresh yellow onions)
  • 2 c.  chicken broth
  • 1/2 c.  2% milk ( original recipe calls for heavy cream)
  • Freshly chopped green onions



  1. In a heavy pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add asparagus, season with salt and pepper, and cook until golden, 5 minutes. If using freshly chopped onions, add in with the asparagus, otherwise dried product is mixed in with broth.
  2. Add broth and simmer, covered, until asparagus is very tender but still green, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Using an immersion or regular blender, puree soup.
  4. Stir in cream, then warm over low heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Garnish with green onions

Harira (Spiced Moroccan Vegetable Soup with Chickpeas, Cilantro, and Lemon)

The only credit I can take for this recipe is that I made it following directions. As you know from a lot of my posts, I modify recipes for taste and dietary restrictions. I did change a few fresh ingredients to canned or bottled only because I don’t keep the fresh items on a regular basis. The greatness of this recipe is that it can be made heartier by adding chicken or remain vegetarian

The famous Joan Nathan is responsible for this beautiful soup and can be found in her cookbook King Solomon’s Table. I highly recommend buying a hard copy of her cookbook. There are so many gems within the chapter along with the beauty of the story behind the food. King Solomon’s Table: A Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World: A Cookbook: Nathan, Joan, Waters, Alice: 9780385351140: Books


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 3 stalks celery, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut in rounds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon harissa or dried red chile flakes, plus more for serving
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups/75 grams), divided
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups/75 grams), divided
  • 1 (15-ounce/425-gram) can tomatoes, crushed, or diced tomatoes
  • 7 cups (1 2/3 liters) chicken broth (vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
  • 1 (15-ounce/425-gram) can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 cup (370 grams) green lentils
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion, celery, and carrots until the onion turns translucent and begin to brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the turmeric, cumin, harissa or chile flakes, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 cup each of the parsley and cilantro, tomatoes, and the stock or water and bring to a boil. If using the soaked chickpeas, drain them and add to the pot. Simmer uncovered for 25 minutes, then add the lentils, another teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of pepper and continue simmering until the chickpeas and lentils are cooked, about 20 minutes more. If using canned chickpeas omit the first 25 minutes of simmering and add with the lentils.
  2. Whisk the flour, egg, and lemon juice into 2 cups (470 ml) of water. Stir into the soup. Simmer the soup about 5 minutes more and serve, sprinkled with the remaining cilantro and parsley. And don’t forget to have some extra harissa in a plate on the side.

Arroz Con Pollo

This is a great one pot dinner with limited preparation. Below is the original link from Food and Wine Magazine, but given we don’t eat ham and we are only two adults, I have made some modifications to the original.

Arroz con Pollo Recipe – Quick From Scratch Chicken | Food & Wine (

I have made this a few times and the one thing I would recommend is not cooking beyond the recommended cook time. It will get soggy.

I am sure I am violating some cultural norms with how to serve, but I like to layer with avocado slices and add fresh jalapeno slices. Serve with tortilla chips for added scoops.

Once again, I enjoy making this dish in my Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron Round Dutch Oven, 7 1/4-Qt.

Happy Cooking!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of butter (margarine for Pareve)
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 can of Mexican diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup rice, preferably long-grain
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


Instructions Checklist

  • In a large, Dutch oven, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Cook the chicken, turning, until well browned, about 4 minutes on each side. Remove. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan.
  • Reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the onion, and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften, about 2 minutes longer.
  • Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, and the remaining 3/4 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper and bring to a simmer. Stir in the rice and add the chicken in an even layer. Simmer, partially covered, over moderately low heat until the chicken and rice are just done, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Garnish with cilantro

Pesto Salmon

One of my pandemic purchases was an Aerogarden, so I could grow a few of my own herbs that I use frequently from time to time. If only it included cilantro..a girl can dream. The Aerogarden grows enormous amounts of basil, so I have been experimenting with homemade pesto. Harvest – Indoor Garden w/ LED Grow Light – AeroGarden

Last night, I didn’t have a full two-cup growth of basil, but it was enough to make for a salmon recipe. I halved the recipe below for pesto.

I served Salmon over a bed of Near East Garlic & Olive Oil Couscous Garlic & Olive Oil |


  • 4-5 Salmon Fillets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 to 1 cup pesto (see homemade recipe below)
  • 1 tomato, thinly sliced
  • Kosher Salt
  • Cracked Pepper


  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese ( I used Kraft)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. To prepare pesto. If using pre-prepared, skip step. Combine basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and nuts in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend to a smooth paste. Set aside
  2. Lightly coat a baking pan with cooking spray.
  3. Place each salmon fillet in the baking pan and drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Gently spread pesto sauce over each fillet.
  5. Place tomatoes slices on each fillet
  6. Bake prepared salmon fillets in a 350 oven for approximately 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork.
  7. Crack fresh pepper and kosher salt over cooked tomatoes to taste