This time last year I was putting the finishing touches on the plans for my trip to Ireland.
That’s right. I went to Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day!
It was crazy… but the bigger party happened a couple nights later when what I think is like the Super Bowl of Rugby was held in Ireland. Ireland vs. Scotland. Yes, there were more kilts than you can imagine!
If you ever have the occasion to go to Ireland, I highly recommend it. We stayed in Dublin most of the trip, but had I to do it again I would rent a car and explore the countryside more.
My Irish Top 5 Attractions:
- Tour the Guinness Museum – The history/backstory is fascinating and the beer really does taste better on-site.
- Eat at the The Winding Stair – Make a reservation!! It was easily one of the best meals I’ve eaten. Order this bottle: Gigondas, Domaine La Bouïssier, a 2004 Grenache/Mouvedre/Syrah blend from Rhone, France.
- Get out of the city and check out the Cliffs of Moher – The view is breathtaking (note: the “do not go beyond this point” signs are optional).
- Wander around St. Stephen’s Green – Excellent people-watching and many, many photo ops.
- See St. Valentine – Well, see his shrine/remains at the Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church. This church is teeny, but there was something so peaceful about it. And locals actually go here!
In honor of the upcoming green holiday, I decided to ensure that my soup bowl doesn’t get pinched.
And I have been craving the tasty yet hard-to-chew asparagus.
I discovered that I can eat crackers when they’re crumbled up and soggy in soup. Ah, the small things.
FYI – Trader Joe’s Sea Salt and Black Pepper Lentil Chips are awesome!
And the soup! This was a delicious, VEGAN, souper-green cream-less asparagus and spinach blend.
Souper Green Asparagus-Spinach Soup
- 1 bunch asparagus (~1 lb), chopped
- 1 T salted Earth Balance (or butter)
- 1 T coconut butter
- 1 T EVOO
- 1 medium shallot, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 C high-quality vegetable broth
- 1 C water
- 3 oz spinach (1/2 a bag)
- handful cilantro
- 1/4 c nutritional yeast
- 1 T fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp coriander
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- S + P, to taste
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add salt, return to boil, and add asparagus tips. Cook until just tender. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath. Transfer asparagus tips to ice bath, letting cool for ~1 min. Drain and set aside.
In a large pot, heat the butter and oil over medium-high heat. Add shallot and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are tender and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic for the last min, being careful not to burn.
Add remaining chopped asparagus stalks (i.e. NOT the iced tips), and cook 2-3 mins longer. Stir in broth and 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking until asparagus is tender, ~10 mins.
Remove from heat. Add spinach, cilantro, nutritional yeast (or cheese), lemon juice, and zest, stirring to combine.
Puree soup using immersion blender (or regular blender in batches). Return to heat and cook until heated through, adding seasonings.
Ladle into bowls, add toppings, and serve immediately.
Potential tasty topping selections: grated Parmesan and lentil chips (pictured), crispy prosciutto, cilantro, sweet potato chips, blue cheese… etc.
Why is St. Patrick’s Day not on the weekend? My green beer likes to sleep in.
Are you doing anything fun for St. Patrick’s Day?
Do you celebrate on the day or or wait until the weekend?