Ever since we invited the Manchild to our crew, we've had to make a few adjustments to Valentine's Day. You see, taking the kid out to dinner isn't usually a problem, but it's hard to be all lovey-dovey when you have to change a diaper explosion between mushroom-stuffed ravioli. We'd feel bad making someone watch our son on the lover's holiday, as well. So we decided that on Valentine's Day, we stay in. I love it. No busy crowds, no having to see anyone or anything. It's just me and my man at home with a beautiful candlelit dinner (after the Manchild goes to sleep, that is). I try to make something special for dinner - and this year Ryan requested we have Tomato Glazed Meatloaves with Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes, and for dessert I might sneak in a couple pizookies.
This doesn't mean we don't already have a sitter set up for tomorrow so we can sneak out to one of our favorite restaurants together. :)
This beautiful soup would be perfect for a romantic-dinner-in. We're not total fans of asparagus, but we really enjoyed the almost pea-like taste it added to the soup. Each bite was seductively creamy, and left you begging for the next spoonful. After you crisp up the bacon, you marry it with golden honey - creating the most surprisingly sinful crumble you've ever tasted. The sweet cuts right through the savory. Lastly, you top each soup bowl with bacon-soaked asparagus spears; tastefully spreading that dreamy smoky flavor throughout the entire soup experience.
Happy Valentine's Day, lovers.
Oh, and if you didn't hear through Facebook-land, The Cooking Channel discovered my Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies here.
Creamy Potato and Asparagus Soup with Honey Bacon Crumble
1 1/2 lb fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
1 1/2 lb russet potatoes, peeled and chopped 1/2 inch pieces
12 oz can evaporated milk
1/2 t salt + more to taste
1/2 t ground black pepper
1 1/4 C water
2 T butter, optional
6 slices bacon
1 T honey
1. Reserve about 1/3 of prepared asparagus and set aside. Combine remaining asparagus, the potatoes, evaporated milk, salt, pepper, and water in large soup pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.
2. Don't drain. Cool for about 30 seconds, then pour half of the mixture into a food processor or blender. Puree soup until very smooth. Repeat with second half. Stir in butter until melted.
3. Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Reserve about 1-2 Tablespoons of the bacon drippings in skillet. Add reserved asparagus spears to the drippings in skillet. Cook for about 5-6 minutes, or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Stir occasionally.
4. Coarsely chop bacon and place on a microwave-safe plate. Drizzle bacon with honey and cover with vented plastic wrap (I just used my plastic microwave veggie-steamer cover). Cook for about 30 seconds on high power.
5. To serve, ladle soup into bowls, top with asparagus and crumbled bacon.
recipe source: better homes and gardens