25 March 2010

Asparagus Soup with Mint Pistou for Earth Hour 2010

Asparagus Soup with Mint Pistou
Do I have a green theme going on MTBT? It seems that almost every dish I have made in the past few weeks is a gorgeous Spring green colour, even this soup that I have prepared for you for Earth Hour.

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million homes and businesses turned their lights off for one hour to make their stand and raise awareness for climate change.  By 2009, hundreds of millions of people showed their support and took part in the third Earth Hour the world over. Over 4000 cities in 88 countries officially switched off to pledge their support for the planet, making Earth Hour 2009 the world’s largest global climate change initiative. It is anticipated that 2010 will see the largest number of participants yet turn off their lights this weekend at 8.30 pm (local time) on Saturday 27 March.

 In 2009,  Global landmarks such as the, Sydney Harbour Bridge, The CN Tower in Toronto, The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.
Whether you are an individual a business a school or a city you can show your support by turning off your lights for Earth Hour this weekend at 8.30PM (local time) Saturday 27 March 2010. It is a call to stand up, to show leadership and be responsible for our future.

Earth Hour has done a lot to raise awareness of climate change issues. But there’s more to it than switching off lights for one hour once a year. It’s all about giving people a voice on the future of our planet and working together to create a sustainable low carbon future for our planet. Every Day should be Earth Day and every hour Earth Hour. Awareness is the key and action is the solution.
You can support Earth Hour by:

1. Turning off your lights at 8.30PM on March 27

2. Showing your support and adding yourself to their world map

3. Adding Earth Hour widgets, logos and banners to your blog or website to help spread the word.

4. Talking about Earth Hour in your social network by updating your Facebook status and tweeting about your support on Twitter

5. Get together with your friends and family, by hosting an Earth Hour party or holding your own candlelit affair

6. Rally your local council or community group to run an Earth Hour event for your community

7. Encourage your employer and workmates to take part in Earth Hour and make energy savings every day

For Earth Hour I decided to make an Asparagus Soup which uses all local ingredients like asparagus, potatoes, spinach, carrots and leeks and served topped with a mint and basil pistou. Pistou is simply French for pesto. All of the ingredients for this soup can be found in our local gardens or greenhouses. Even the wine is sourced locally since the Okanagan is a world class wine growing region of Canada. How will I serve this soup without electricity....in a thermos along with some Olive Oil Bread and tzatziki for dipping....although the asparagus soup was equally as delicious when served cold.
The bottom stem of the asparagus spear is tough and not particularily enjoyable. Begin to bend the spear and you will notice that it wants to break naturally at a certain point. That is the point where the stem begins to be tough. So just bend each spear and let it break where it naturally wants to. These tougher portions are perfect for making creamy soups so never discard them.

What would you make for Earth Hour that would leave as little carbon imprint on the planet as possible?

**Asparagus Soup with Mint Pistou**
based on a recipe from Christine Cushing
Print me.....

4 cups fresh green asparagus trimmed, then peeled and chopped (approximately 2 bunches), cutting and reserving the tips (1 litre)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 leek, white part only, washed well and chopped
1 medium sized carrot, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons butter (30 ml)
1 medium Yukon Gold potato, peeled and diced
1 cup spinach, chopped (125 ml)
4 cups chicken stock (1litre)
1/2 cup white wine (125 ml)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (1 ml)
Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup milk ro half and half cream (60 ml)
squirt of fresh lemon juice


1 cup mint leaves, washed and dried (250 ml)
1/2 cup basil leaves, washed and dried (125 ml)
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (60 ml)
Zest of ½ a lemon
Coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice (10 ml)

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium. Add onion, leek, carrot and garlic and lightly cook vegetables without colouring, about 2 minutes. Add wine and reduce by half, about 2 minutes. Add potatoes, asparagus stems, and stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover and let simmer until potatoes and asparagus stems are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Steam asparagus tips. (Alternatively place a mesh strainer into the soup broth and add the asparagus tips to cook until crisp tender about 2 minutes.) Set the tips aside until ready to use.

Add the chopped spinach to the soup and cook for 1 minute.

Carefully puree soup in a blender or with a stick blender (immersion blender) until smooth. Note if soup seems stringy from the asparagus, strain soup through a mesh strainer.) Stir in milk. Reheat until steaming. Season with cayenne, salt and pepper. Add a squirt of lemon juice. Serve and garnish with asparagus tips and pitsou.


Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Garnish soup with a dollop of the pistou.

Switch off your lights for Earth Hour!

On March 27, 8:30pm, join WWF and people around the world in demanding action on climate change. It’s all about giving people a voice on the future of our planet, and the chance to send a message of hope to world leaders.

Join the movement at http://www.earthhourcanada.org/

You may also enjoy......

Habitant Pea Soup with Salted Herbs
Won Ton Soup
Garlic-Leek Potato Soup with Garlic Chips & Chives
Creamy Asparagus Soup Made with Love
Chunky Potato and Swiss Chowder
Creamy Chicken Soup with Carrots and Baby Peas
Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Content must be credited to this author.
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  1. Those flavors are heavenly! A great recipe!



  2. Beautiful soup and a wonderful idea about earth hour.

    Your posts and recipes make me so optimistic about spring - even if we are supposed to get snow in NY tonight!

  3. I put it in my calendar. Our lights will be off....

    Great soup recipe. I just bought some asparagus few days ago and I've been thinking what to make.

  4. I just bought asparagus this morning with the intent to make soup! Thank you!
    xoxo Pattie

  5. Awesome pictures! Two bowls for me please :D.

    I love it when days are larger and nights short but not the other way around.

    I'm Mrs. Candle, got tones of them. Will surely have dinner at candle lights :D

  6. we suffer from irregular but frequent blackouts, so i am really grateful that we have installed gas elements in our kitchen. i hardly ever use the electric ones (although the oven works with electricity)

    i like power cuts on summer nights because we sit on or balcony with no lights on anyway and its a peaceful way to enjoy the evening

  7. Green is good Joan...keep on posting! Asparagus is one of my favourite vegies in the Spring...love the mint pistou as well...this is a great cause!

  8. Hah - I have the perfect meal for Earth Day. In fact, I just finished uploading photos to my Farm to Table post which I'll be publishing soon.

    As usual, you remind us of all the important causes out there. Thanks.

    And the soup looks delicious. I'm all about veggies these days.

  9. Green for me resembles growth and this blog is growing better and better all the time!!! We love earth day, gives us a time to catch up on family time!!

  10. This soup sounds like the perfect way to welcome in the Spring season!

  11. Stuff looks amazing! I really think asparagus has to be my favorite green veggie by far. I'll have to try the recipe. Cheers~

  12. The flavors must have been amazing along with that color. Wow! Great tips for being green too. My kids came home from school a couple weeks ago with a long list on living a greener life so we got started on the ones we hadn't changed yet. Let's hope more people catch on to even some small changes.

  13. this is a very pretty soup, val--certainly worthy of an occasion such as earth hour. the pistou is the most appealing of all--what an elegant addition!

  14. Going for green with this soup is a fantastic idea. I've never souped on asparagus.....that will have to change ASA!

  15. The asparagus soup sounds lovely and perfect for Earth Day!

  16. Nothing says spring is here better than this divine soup. The color is so vibrant and I'm sure the flavor is as well.

  17. Beautiful green soup for earth hour! I love the bowl and plate too.

  18. Love your soup and serving dishes. I will gladly join you in lights out. I have admired your blog for a long time.

  19. Love green soups and what's better for a green earth day! Your soup looks just delightful with all those fragrant flavors. I did not know earth hour, I know I France they teach kids how to save energy and help environment, by telling them to stop the running faucet while brushing teeth and stuff like that, but never heard of earth hour, which is a great initiative!

  20. This soup sounds delicious! I think it was you who nudged the Earth Hour idea in me last year.. good work!!

  21. We'll be turning out lights off tomorrow night, too. Wish I had a batch of this soup to enjoy by candlelight.

  22. What a nice soup! I like the color so much and the texture looks like it is something that I can fall in love with.

  23. Lovely looking soup! :) Earth Hour is a great idea! I'm on my laptop until the battery dies. Only a few minute to go now! ;)

  24. Thanks so much for the information about Earth Hour and for sharing the recipe for your delicious soup. I adore asparagus and always love a new recipe for its use. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  25. A fantastic looking soup! I've never made asparagus soup before and after seeing yours I will have to give it a go!

  26. What a beautiful spring soup! Such vibrant color! Thanks for the heads up about Earth Hour. I guess a vegetable dish from my own garden would be the best idea.

  27. Ah Earth Hour. They have tv commercials about it here. And our lights will be out as we will be away from home. Does that count? This is wonderful soup, full of gorgeous flavors and springtime. I must bookmark this recipe for spring when I can also buy all these veg locally.

  28. Lovely sounding soup in gorgeous porcelain.

  29. Great Soup!! Last night for Earth hour, we turned off all our lights and went outside for a walk. Michael shouted 'abuse' at all the houses that still had their lights on!! Little Gangster!

  30. I do have to try mint with asparagus...never occurred to me to add pair these two Spring offerings.

  31. gorgeous looking soup and perfect for earth hour! love the pairing!

  32. I love that soup Val! It looks delicious ... and asparagus is looking fresher and more logically priced these days so it is the best time to make it.

  33. This is the perfect soup to mark Earth Hour. I like the touch from the mint pistou. Great job!


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