Monday, January 31, 2011

Creamy Asparagus Soup for a Blah Monday

Lifting on Blah Monday
Today I definitely had a case of the Monday Blahs. It didn't help that the skies were heavy and gray today. Tomorrow it's supposed to storm and then get down into the teens. So much for early spring huh?

I had actually contemplated trying to do tomorrow's training run today just so I could get it done outside. But I had to be realistic, I had a long run Saturday and another 4 miles yesterday. I needed to do something other than run today.

So, I hit the gym for some upper body weights and a short stint on the elliptical. I did 10 minutes on the elliptical to warm up then I went with back and chest, then abs

Assisted pullups - 10
Pushups - 24

TS#1 - 3x8
Underhand barbell rows
Flat bench flyes
Flat bench dumbbell press

Assisted chinups - 10
Pushups with feet on bench - 16

TS#2
Single-arm rows
Incline bench flyes
Incline bench dumbbell press

SS#1

Pullovers
Staggered chest press

I did a variety of ab work including some stability ball abs and weighted ab exercises before finishing up on the elliptical for another 10 minutes.

I'll admit that I was starting to dread the workout halfway through the day. But I knew that once I got to the gym and got started, I'd be good to go. Was it the best workout ever? No, but it felt good to get the blood pumping at least. Sometimes you just got to get in there and get it done.

Am I Nuts?
During lunch, I got the ingredients into the bread machine for some whole-grain French bread. It's something I should have made yesterday. I really wasn't sure how well it'd turn out with the delayed timer setting, but I thought I'd give it a shot. I suddenly decided I wanted to try to make a creamy asparagus soup for dinner and just had to have fresh bread.

We had a bunch of asparagus that needed to be used. I had originally planned to have it with quinoa as a side, but soup just sounded comforting. It wasn't necessarily a cold day, just plain dreary. Kind of a mopey day actually. I decided to try to come up with an asparagus soup at the last minute. I mean really? Working all day, hitting the gym, then deciding I had to have fresh bread to go with a soup I've never made? Please someone help me.

Creamy Asparagus and Potato Soup
Ingredients:
1 bunch asparagus, cleaned and diced
5-6 new potatoes, diced
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, diced
32 oz no-salt vegetable broth
1/2 cup frozen peas (optional)
1 package firm silken tofu
To taste: salt, pepper, parsley, lemon pepper spice blend, lemon juice, coriander power, curry powder, ginger powder

Directions:
In large pot, saute onions, garlic, potatoes, asparagus until begin to soften then add in broth, peas, and spices. Simmer until potatoes are soft.

Transfer to a blender in small batches and puree adding in the tofu to one of the batches. Transfer back to pot and continue to simmer until flavors have all melded and soup is desired consistency. Re-season as needed and add more liquid if needed.
 

This turned out really well. I was rather impressed. The flavors were mild, but not bland or blah. I topped it with some tempeh bacon, but roasted chickpeas would have been really good as well. Oh, and the bread was some of the softest I've managed since making the original recipe into a whole-grain recipe.