Showing posts with label asparagus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label asparagus. Show all posts

Jul 5, 2016

"peace and parsnips" + giveaway

Obviously, a labor of much love, Lee Watson (Blog, Twitter) brings us a classic-in-the-works in the form of Peace and Parsnips (Amazon, B&N), Adventurous Vegan Cooking for Everyone.

The title really says it all: ADVENTUROUS vegan cooking, is right. Lee covers everything in this book, from making vegan milks to condiments and everything in between: small plates, smoothies, salads, soups, sides, curries, big plates, baked & stuffed, sweet treats, burgers & more, and even breakfast - all with his unique spin and authenticity.

This is a gorgeous hardcover book filled with wonderful photography and delectable recipes. Along with the creative and inspirational recipes, Lee voraciously regales us with witty and endearing lore of his travels. Uniquely, he is one who has traveled the path he tales about.

What about the food, tho? Indeed, he delivers big on flavor and his enthusiasm for the dishes is nothing short of spot-on.

Since I have been doing very little besides finishing up Aquafaba (Amazon, B&N), it should come as little surprise that I was only able to make a few recipes from P&P, but worry not, folks, for these are just the tip of my adventurous cooking from this book. It really is worth it. There are few books that actually pique my interest with their content, and this is definitely one of the jewels in the bunch.

The first recipe I made was from the Big Plates chapter, Persian Fava Bean, Seitan & Green Herb Stew.

I was not a bit thrown when I saw that among the ingredients was methi leaves, which are dried fenugreek leaves, very common in Indian grocers, and Iranian limes. Of course, even though I was non-pulsed by the unusual ingredients, I also came up short regarding the limes. I knew what it was but (gasp) I didn't actually have it.

Ingredients for Persian Stew: (from top left) dill, cinnamon, turmeric root, radish, cinnamon, dried lime, lemon peel, dried fenugreek in the middle.

A quick search on Amazon came up with a few expensive options. Since I had fresh limes and a dehydrator (or even the sun) I decided to dry my own limes. I'm happy to report that after a few preliminary preparations for the limes, they dried out beautifully and tasted exactly as they should after about five days in the dehydrator at 110-degrees.

As Lee says, the herbs make this dish sing. He's right. I cooked up the rice with a few grates of fresh turmeric root. This dish made a lot and we were all the better for it.

My second dish from the adventurous cookbook turned out to be Smoked Tofu Sausage Sandwiches with Red Onion Marmalade & Kale Chips, from the Burgers & More chapter. Which sounds like it's easy, peasy, right? Almost. It turns out that even my Whole Foods doesn't carry smoked tofu. But since I started making homemade ingredients why stop now, right? Have smoker, will smoke.

My stove-top smoker is actually very easy to use and does a wonderful job smoking using hot smoke, so that's how I got my smoked tofu, but Lee actually has an easier alternative than smoking tofu, but far be it by me to take the easy route.

The sandwiches are made using the baked sausages and homemade red onion marmalade. They are accompanied by baked kale chips. This was one serious sandwich, folks!

I bet you want to make something from Lee's creative mind, too! You're in for a treat with his Asparagus Club Sandwich with Rainbow Chard and Pine Nut Cream. Make it, eat it and then enter the giveaway to have your chance to win this book.

Of course, if you can't wait until the 19th to hear the result or another few weeks to get the book if you are lucky enough to win it, (and who can blame you?!?) then do yourself a favor and grab your own copy. Don't wait! Besides, the contest is open to US and Canada residents only, but the book is actually available everywhere that books are sold and read. Good luck!

Image credit to Alistair Richardson

                   PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE

Asparagus Club Sandwiches with Rainbow Chard & Pine Nut Cream
The Trump Tower of sandwich construction, the Empire State Building of munch, the Shard of…you get the idea. This one is quite tall. Incredibly green and healthy, with a touch of chard technicolor among the layers, it’s a light and quick sandwich to whip up and stack. Three tiers of tofu and panfried asparagus goodness here, with a smooth pine nut cream. Delicious served with homemade vegetable chips. And try it with tomato, ginger and orange chutney. The trick here is to try to slice your bread as thinly as possible.

Makes 2 sandwiches (enough for 4 to share)


·        11½ ounces (325g) firm tofu, pressed, or tempeh, cut widthwise into 3 x ¾-inch (8 x 2cm) slices
·        1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
·        sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
·        2 tablespoons olive oil
·        6 scallions, trimmed and halved lengthwise
·        6 asparagus spears, halved lengthwise
·        1 teaspoon fennel seeds
·        2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
·        6 large leaves of rainbow chard, cut into ¾-inch (2cm) ribbons
·        ¼ cup (50ml) dry vermouth or dry sherry
·        a handful of basil leaves

For the pine nut cream
·        ¾ cup (100g) toasted pine nuts (hazelnuts would also be delicious)
·        4½ ounces (125g) silken tofu
·        1 small clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
·        ½ tablespoon lemon juice
·        a large pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve
·        6 thin slices of sourdough bread
·        olive oil, for brushing
·        1 large ripe tomato, thinly sliced


To make the pine nut cream, put the pine nuts into a food processor with the rest of the ingredients and blitz until smooth and creamy. Check the seasoning and set aside.

Pat the pressed tofu dry. Season the flour with sea salt and cracked pepper and place on a plate. Dust the tofu slices with the seasoned flour – they have to be very dry to crisp up nicely.

Heat 1½ tablespoons of oil in a large heavy-bottomed frying pan on medium heat. Add the scallions and sear for 5 minutes, until tender. Remove and keep warm, then add the tofu slices in the center of the pan, arranging the asparagus around the edges. Fry the tofu and asparagus until nicely golden – this will only take 2 minutes on each side for both. The asparagus may need turning more than the tofu, but see how they get on. Remove everything from the pan and keep warm.

Add ½ tablespoon of oil to the same pan on medium heat and add the fennel seeds and garlic. Heat through for a minute, then drop in the chard. Stir and sauté for 3 minutes. Drizzle in the vermouth and let it steam for a moment, then add the basil leaves, season, and cover tightly with a lid. Turn the heat down to low and allow to steam for 5 minutes.

Brush your sourdough bread with olive oil and lightly toast on both sides. Time to build your triple-decker! Grab two pieces of toasted bread, spread them with a thick layer of the pine nut cream, then top each one with a couple of slices of tomato and two pieces each of tofu, asparagus and scallion. 

Top with a second slice of bread and repeat for the next layer, but this time spoon some of the chard and basil on top instead of the asparagus and onion. Press down firmly, then cut the sandwiches in half.

Credit line: Recipe from Peace & Parsnips: Adventurous Vegan Cooking For Everyone © Lee Watson, 2016. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.

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Aug 26, 2014

the jazzy vegetarian + scampi pasta

Last week I had the most amazing time with Laura Theodore on her radio show The Jazzy Vegetarian.

Laura is not only the author of the party-friendly, family-friendly vegan cookbook, Jazzy Vegetarian Classics, but she also hosts her own television vegan cooking show on PBS and Create Channel. I know! How cool! Check for listing, channels and times of her TV show HERE.

Laura is such a talented host, that she put me right at ease on my first live interview, even though I was scared to pieces and nervous as all get out! We shared some great tips for vegan cooking and just generally had such a fun time.

I’m pretty sure I jabbered too much and too long, but that’s nothing new to those who know me.
A few things I shared on the show were:

Frontier Co-op, an online retailer of some great vegan-friendly and animal-friendly products, such as seaweed, nutritional yeast, cleaning and hygiene products, spices and herbs and tons of other stuff.

If you become a buying club member on the Frontier Co-op Wholesalers, for a ten dollar membership fee, you can have anything over $250 delivered free of charge. The idea is to get others involved to reach the minimum, but I have found that at least once a year (sometimes twice or thrice) I have no problem attaining the $250 minimum all by my lonesome self.  

Laura also asked about egg replacers on the show and I shared a few ideas, but just recently No Meat Athlete posted a wonderful visual representation.

Lastly, I shared an easy recipe from Everyday Vegan Eats on The Jazzy Vegetarian, and it happens to be the cover recipe, which is a dish that can be ready in 15 minutes, Scampi Pasta with Asparagus and Walnuts. It has mild garlic flavor, a mild sea flavor, thanks to dulse seaweed, and the richness is tamed by fresh lemon juice. Really a delicious meal!

Scampi Pasta with Asparagus and Walnuts
Serves 4

Scampi, in the restaurant world, is a dish of shrimp sautéed in garlic butter and tossed with parsley and fresh lemon juice. In this version, dulse stands in for the flavor of seafood and the garlic-lemon sauce is tossed with thin pasta. This is a very fast meal, so get your pot of water boiling first.

  • 8 ounces capellini or angel hair pasta or gluten-free pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped raw walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dulse seaweed flakes
  • 1/4 cup packed finely chopped parsley
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Cool the pasta under running cold water, drain, and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and walnuts. Reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is golden, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Increase the heat to medium. Add the dulse, parsley, and asparagus. Cook, stirring, until the asparagus is partially cooked, about 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water and continue to cook until the asparagus is crisp-tender, another 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, the reserved pasta, and the other 1/2 cup of reserved pasta cooking water. Cook, stirring, until the pasta is heated through and the sauce has thickened.
  6. Season to taste with salt, plenty of black pepper, and the rest of the lemon juice, if needed. Serve hot.

CHEF’S TIP: If you have a wok, this is a great place to use it. Garlic or walnut pieces can be pushed up the side of the wok, out of higher heat, if any of them brown faster than the others. When the sauce is ready to be tossed with the pasta, you’ll have plenty of room to combine them.

From Everyday Vegan Eats by Zsu Dever. ©2014 Zsu Dever. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.

If you haven’t listened to the complete interview, catch it below or HERE. While you are on the BlogTalkRadio, subscribe to her channel and take the time to look through the archives of the show – so many great interviews and information to be discovered!

I’d like to thank Laura for having me on the show and for being so gentle with someone so obviously new to the process. I am so deeply grateful!

Listen To Food Internet Radio Stations with The Jazzy Vegetarian on BlogTalkRadio with The Jazzy Vegetarian on BlogTalkRadio

If you would like to win your very own shiny new copy of Everyday Vegan Eats, the lovely Somer McCowan of is hosting a giveaway right this very second  (contest ends August 29). She is also sharing my recipe for Chilled Sesame Soba Noodles. Here is the equally lovely picture she took of said dish:

Photo by Somer McCowan of

I am linking to these recipe parties: Healthy Vegan FridaysWhat I Ate Wednesday and Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck. 



Apr 9, 2012

vine and dine + gnocchi with basil and roasted shallot cream sauce

Vine and Dine, hosted by Tami Noyes at Vegan Appetite, is Potato Gnocchi with Basil in a Roasted Shallot Cream Sauce, from Spork-Fed

The family loves Gnocchi so we decided to go for it and participate in Tami's cookalong, even though this cookbook is not on my shelf. 

The gnocchi recipe itself is basic, using potatoes and flour. The sauce uses roasted shallots and tons of cashews, which makes the sauce quite thick. You can very successfully reduce the amount of nuts to at least half the amount called for. 

After tasting it, the kids would have liked some tomato sauce added, 'to lighten things up,' as it is stated in the anecdote of the recipe. I agree - next time we make a gnocchi cream sauce, we will add some red sauce as well.

We drank a(nother) white wine with this dish, but I wholeheartedly believe a red would have complemented it much better. I'll let David catch you up on the wine selection. I have been the one choosing the wine for the past few V&D's (only because I have been shopping alone), but I think it is time to get him back out there making the selections. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm quite as choosy about buying the wine as about drinking it.

(David will be posting the wine review this evening).

Mar 21, 2012

pasta primavera

The first day of Spring was yesterday. We really enjoy celebrating the equinoxes and solstices at our house. What better way to ring in the spring (besides that annoying daylight savings time deal) than with Pasta Primavera, for which the dish is named after. 

Way back when I fell in love with this dish, my brother was the executive chef of a waterside restaurant. By that time I was already vegetarian. After a long day's work, he would make for me this dish - pasta with creamy sauce and lots of spring and summer vegetables. There are two ways to make Pasta Primavera: one is made using olive oil and garlic and the other is made using butter, cream and Parmesan cheese, essentially a la Alfredo.

Although there is no way to exactly mimic the flavor of butter and cream (at least none that I have come across), the creaminess of the original dish remains and the stars of the meal -the vegetables- still take center stage. 

My brother limited the pasta to summer squashes and cauliflower, but I kind of went overboard and added anything at all that looked good. When I presented my offering to the kids and went into the details of the name, my kids immediately piped up... "tomatoes aren't a spring plant"..."neither are summer squashes"... yeah, yeah. I loaded tons of spring (and summer) veggies and fruits onto this pasta plate, but you are welcome to be as finicky as my kids tend to be, omitting any at will. 

Cost Breakdown

pasta: $3
onion, garlic, carrot, peppers: $3
flour, milk: $1
cauliflower, asparagus, squash, mushrooms, kale: $9
Total to make 6 servings:

Dec 6, 2011

seitan divan

Seitan Divan is a classic American casserole consisting of bread, meat, broccoli or asparagus and then topped with Mornay Sauce.

Mornay Sauce sounds exotic, but it is actually just a cheese sauce made using a simple Bachamel Sauce (a white sauce of thickened milk) with cheese melted into it. Nothing complicated but the name there.

Toast is typically used for the Divan, but I used English Muffins. I sauteed the seitan cutlets until they turned golden brown and layered the casserole: English Muffin, seitan thinly sliced, cooked broccoli florets and Mornay Sauce.

While you could simply make the Mornay Sauce with the Bechamel and melt 1/2 cup of vegan cheese in it to create the sauce, I also made the Mornay using Bechamel with no commercial (or difficult to make) cheese.

We all loved it! It really was easy to make and not at all a conventional casserole.

The pragmatic in me thought this was a great dish not just because it was good and easy to assemble, but because I was able to clean up after the initial cooking while the casserole baked for the required twenty minutes. Had the baking required a longer time I might have left the kitchen, and the mess, behind. Bonus.

Cost Breakdown

broccoli: $2
seitan: $1
English Muffin: $2
tahini, nutritional yeast, flour, lemon, milk: $1.50
Total to make 4 servings:

Dec 4, 2011

spicy tomato and asparagus with linguine

 Pasta dishes have a tendency to be quick, easy and tasty - as long as you have a good recipe. This recipe fits the bill on all counts. I have been noticing that I have this intense need for quick meals that at least three-fifth of the household at least likes. See.. I don't have unrealistic expectations. 

This meal, Spicy Tomato and Asparagus with Linguine, takes around 30 minutes to make .. for real. The sauce is made using some olive oil, onion, garlic, grape or cherry tomatoes, red pepper and a bit of sherry or broth. Some chili flakes add a spicy touch and the additional vegetable creates variety. I used asparagus as the addition, but other vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, green beans or zucchini, would all be ideal choices. 

I love using linguine in this, but again, the shape is up to the cook. Spaghetti would be great or any pasta with little nooks and crannies, where the sauce can cling to, work well. 

Basil or fresh parsley finishes the dish. 

Delicious and very versatile. Four of us loved it and found ourselves getting another and another bowl of the pasta. Luckily, we use small bowls.

Cost Breakdown

pasta: $2
tomatoes: $4
parsley: $.50
asparagus: $4
pepper: $1
onion, garlic, olive oil, spices: $1
Total to make 6 servings:


Oct 14, 2011

cheesecake factory (MoFo 27)

The first Cheesecake Factory restaurant was opened in Beverly Hills by Evelyn and Oscar Overton's son, David, because he wanted a place to sell his mother's beloved cheesecakes. Although she had been selling her cheesecakes to local restaurants already, most of her customer's weren't thrilled with the prices they were being charged. David thought he could help her out, and that he did.  By 2010, there were 150 Cheesecake Factories in operation. 

Hands down, the most popular dish on their menu, besides cheesecake, of course, is the Chicken Madeira, a sauteed chicken breast, topped with asparagus spears, mozzarella cheese and mushroom Madeira sauce. Veganize! Our mantra of the month!

Tender chicken-like seitan cutlets serve well here, asparagus is already vegan, mozzarella has many delicious non-dairy options and the mushroom Madeira sauce is as easy as finding a suitable Madeira wine. Serve these with mashed potatoes to soak up the sweet, tangy sauce. Vegetables already included. In fact, if I were you, I'd double and even triple the measly 2 spears of asparagus the restaurant offers per serving.

Certainly cheesecake cannot be ignored. Obviously. And here is where a lot can go wrong, and I am not referring only to the quantity of cheesecake that can be consumed in a single sitting. 

This was one of the many dishes that needed a redo. Surprisingly, when the correct chemical concoction for cheesecake perfection is achieved, the process is quite easy and quick. My first attempt was the Key Lime Cheesecake. While it came out tasting awesome, it was not firm and needed a redo. For the second time (not having the heart to ask the family to eat two of the same flavors of cheesecake in a row..what kind of mother would I have been?), I attempted to make the White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake, this time successfully.

I do not like tofu in my cheesecake, so this one is sans tofu, but does use about 3 tubs of Better Than Cream Cheese. Another alteration was needed since I did not have white chocolate and therefore used regular chocolate chips. 

To complete the whole Cheesecake Factory experience, get yourself a can of Soy Whip or some other whip substitute and squirt to your heart's content.. the Factory certainly does.

Seitan Madeira

Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Sep 1, 2011

walnut and asparagus scampi pasta

Pasta Night

In another life, seafood and I were partners. Or more to the point, seafood graced many of my plates, as I happily devoured the little creatures, be they swordfish, tuna, shrimp, scrod, halibut, scallops or cod. I was a pescetarian, thinking that sea creatures were not factory farmed and were fair game for the honor of becoming my next meal. In fact, I felt pretty good about my decision to save the lives of their land counterparts - cows, pigs, chickens. It was a sad day for my eating repertoire when I discovered that fish were being factory farmed. The practice wasn't as common back twenty years ago, but it was certainly beginning its snowballing. On top of the fact that fish nowadays are intensely more factory farmed in huge over-populated underwater nets, the animals that are being caught in the wild are dwindling at an alarming rate. Add mercury and other heavy metals and toxic chemicals that leach into the seas from human pollution into the system of these same creatures, and you no longer are eating Omega-3 fatty acids wrapped up in an affordable lean protein, but are stuffing yourselves full of misery, metals and guilt, knowing that you are contributing to the extinction of numerous other species of sea life. 
How does your shrimp taste now?

Lovely segue into tonight's meal. Shrimp Scampi was a long time favorite of mine, ever since my father couldn't serve us the delicacy while owning a seafood restaurant because every penny had to be saved. Scampi was something that was expensive and carefully snuck out to the kids by my mom when my dad wasn't around. Some women lie to their spouses about the cost of the new dress they just bought at Macy's; my mom lied about food. 

While there are plenty of veggie shrimp substitutes on the market, this meal does not utilize any. I was wanting to make a dish that was a memory jolt to shrimp scampi and not a lightning bolt to the gut - in a good or a bad way. The seafood substitutes we've tried over the years have either totally missed the mark or were overwhelmingly 'fishy,' trying too hard to be something that they weren't. 

Scampi, whether shrimp, scallops, or asparagus, all contain tons of garlic, olive oil and lemon. The garlic is slowly infused into the oil over low heat, while the lemon juice gives an extra needed tang right before service. I chose to use asparagus, walnuts, dulse seaweed and parsley. Perhaps the empty serving bowl with the few lone strands of pasta sticking to the sides, sitting in the middle of the dining table gives an indication of how well received it was. Even hours after the dinner dishes have been dried and put away, the house is still perfumed with the garlic and olive oil. A gentle reminder of a meal well enjoyed.

Cost Breakdown

pasta: $1
asparagus: $4
olive oil, lemon juice, garlic: $1
parsley, dulse: $2
walnuts: $2
Total for 4 servings:

Walnut and Asparagus Scampi Pasta Recipe

Feb 1, 2011

stir-fried beans with bitter greens

Asian Night

Stir-frying green beans is commonly done, but how often do you come across stir-frying legumes?

Another really easy and quick meal, this stir-fry of aduki beans and vegetables was wonderfully delicious. I used asparagus, yellow pepper, and a bunch of rapini. I love rapini's bitter flavor and it was complemented especially well with the sweetness of the beans and peppers. You, of course, can use whatever greens you personally love.

The whole stir-fry took at the maximum of ten minutes to cook, so, again, make sure you have all the components of the dish at hand. And start cooking your brown rice before you start prepping everything else so it can all come together at the same time.

Cost Breakdown

onion, garlic, chili pepper: $1
asparagus, yellow pepper: $2
aduki beans: $2
rapini, green onions: $3
tamari, sugar, sesame oil: $.50
rice: $1
Total to make 4 servings:

Jan 24, 2011

easy asian wrap

This lunch was a quick and easy generic Asian Wrap. I used a wrapped or pressed tofu, sliced it into stips, marinated them and sauteed them, along with broccoli spears, red pepper strips, green onions and a few asparagus spears. There really is no hard and fast rule for this wrap - use tofu, tempeh, seitan or just vegetables. Sautee the veggies until they are crisp tender or done to your likeness and that is about it.

After the veggies are done add the remaining marinade and stuff it all into a warmed tortilla. The Asian flare comes form tamari (soy sauce), sesame oil (toasted is best), rice vinegar and chili flakes.

Not bad for a quick meal. When I presented it to the kids they reluctantly gave it a try...and wound up eating it up and asking me to make it again soon.

Cost Breakdown

tamari, vinegar, garlic, oil, maple: $1
tofu: $2
broccoli, pepper: $3
onion, asparagus: $2
wrap: $2
Total to make 6 wraps;

Jul 8, 2010

leek and kale patties with black-eyed peas

Thursday is European/Potato Night

I made some wonderful patties using leeks, kale and mashed potatoes. I pan-fried them in a little oil to give them a crisp crust. I cooked black-eyed peas with tomatoes, a dash of sugar and salt. I love making black-eyed peas because they cook in the pressure cooker in 10 minutes without needing to be soaked. I grilled asparagus to add some color and just because I love asparagus and they will soon be history for another year.

All in all I thought the flavors were great, the textures right on...but, family only thought it was 'okay.' I wonder if cooking the meal makes a difference in the perception of the taste.

Cost Breakdown:
1 c dry black-eyed peas: $.50
tomatoes: $2
onion, garlic. spices: $1
leeks: $2
kale: $2
asparagus: $3.50
potatoes: $.50
Total to feed a family of 6:

Jun 27, 2010

summer garden pasta salad

Summer time is wonderful for bright, vibrant vegetables. Showcasing them simply in a light pasta salad is not only ideal, but imperative. Adding some cannellini beans and a garlic crostini (toast with fresh garlic rubbed on it) makes this a complete meal. I make Sunday's lunch lite because Sunday's dinner is a family favorite and more often than not is either a heavy meal or more involved to prepare. A lite lunch balances things out.

This pasta salad has broccoli, asparagus, red bell peppers and green onions that I lightly sauteed for a few minutes until they were just crisp. I added sliced grape tomatoes, some vinegar and a few tablespoons of olive oil and a few fresh herbs. Great flavors, little time.

Cost Breakdown:
asparagus: $3
1/2 bell pepper: $1
1 bunch broccoli: $2
green onions and garlic: $1
herbs: $1
tomatoes: $2
pasta: $.50
beans: $2
bread: $1
Total to feed  a family of 6:

Jun 7, 2010

pea vine, green garlic and asparagus soup

Who knew pea vines were edible?
My CSA and all the farmers that grow the stuff! The pea vine tastes like ... peas. The box also brought asparagus. At Whole Foods this morning green garlic has finally made a showing. It is mild enough to complement the pea vine and asparagus, so I figured they would be a good combo. And it is Monday and Monday is Soup Night.
It was a phenomenal soup with four measly ingredients:
onion, green garlic, asparagus and pea vine. All three main ingredients were flavorful without being overpowering. The bread slices were just sprayed with a little olive oil and when toasted, I rubbed them with the bulb end of a green garlic. 

Cost Breakdown:
 onion: $.50
green garlic: $2.50
asparagus: CSA, less than $3
pea vine: CSA, less than $2
whole wheat bread: $2.50

Total to feed a family of 5: