What is a Balaboosta?
Balaboosta (n.)(bah-lah-b00-sta) A Yiddish term meaning the perfect housewife, homemaker, wonderful mother, cook, and gracious hostess. She does it all and does it well.
I make simple food with easy recipes and I like to try new things. My family and friends love my cooking and always ask me to share, with them, what I know about food, flavor, and technique.

I'm not a professional chef and I've had no formal culinary training. What I know and do in the kitchen comes from three women...Nana, Grandma Della, and Rose, my mom. Each one of them knew more about putting a meal on the table than any fancy chef in a white hat. They were the ultimate Balaboostas.

What I offer you is a lifetime of experience in the kitchen with my compliments and theirs. I hope they'd be proud. I will bring you my recipes as I make them with photos of the actual food I'm preparing. I'm no professional photographer either but I promise, my food will speak for itself in every picture.

The food on my table isn't stacked in a trendy tower.
Instead, my food is stacked with flavor and full of my passion for cooking. So please come in, make yourself comfortable, and enjoy.

To see amazing detail in any photo just click on it!
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Disclaimer: While most of my recipes are "Jewish Style", I do sometimes cook with pork. This might have been a great disappointment to some but my grandmothers knew that I live in modern world. I light Shabbos candles religiously but I have to admit...I do not keep a Kosher home.

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Asparagus Soup

Asparagus are incredibly rich in fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamins.  Because asparagus contain 92% water, they are a  perfect vegetable choice in the heat of summer.  This rich and creamy soup can be served hot or cold, making it great for picnics.

Ingredients...

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds fresh Asparagus
  • 1  medium to large onion, chopped
  • 5-6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 large carrot OR two smaller carrots (leave them whole)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter OR margarine
  • 8 oz. Crème Fraîche OR heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water
Here's how you do it...
    1. Prepare the asparagus:  Rinse, and then cut and discard the woody wide ends of each spear.
    2. Cut off the asparagus tips (approximately 1 and 1/2 inches) and set aside.
    3. Rough cut the remaining spears into small pieces about 1".
    4. In your soup pot melt 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine.
    5. Add  the chopped onion and cook 3 or 4 minutes until softened and translucent.
    6. Add the chicken broth, asparagus pieces, and the carrot.
    7. Heat to a simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until asparagus pieces are tender.
    8. Meanwhile, in a small pot, bring 1/2" of water to a simmer.
    9. Put the asparagus tips into the small pot of simmering water for 4 minutes.   (Do not overcook.)   
    10. Rinse the tips in cool water immediately. Drain and set aside. This is for the garnish later. 
    11. Take the soup pot off the heat. 
    12. Remove the cooked carrot. (It's a shame to throw it out so I eat it.)
    13. If you have a submersion blender you can puree the soup right in the pot. OR In small batches, pour  into a blender and process until smooth. Then return it to the soup pot.  *Caution* Hot liquids in a blender can be dangerous.
    14. Turn the heat back on under the soup.
    15. In a small mixing bowl, dissolve the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of the hot pureed soup.
    16. Gradually stir in the crème fraîche (OR heavy cream)  to the dissolved cornstarch mixture.
    17. Now add this mixture to the soup and stir until the soup has thickened.
    18. Stir in the nutmeg, salt, and pepper. 
      Garnish each bowl of soup with a few of the par boiled asparagus tips you set aside earlier.
      Optional: You can swirl a small dollop of the crème fraîche on top of each bowl for a fancier presentation.

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