Cream of Asparagus Soup

Cream of Asparagus Soup

This asparagus soup recipe is delicious and warms the soul when the early springtime weather can be so finicky between rain, snow, wind, and sunshine.

Servings: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound of fresh asparagus*
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced finely
  • 2 tablespoons butter or butter-flavored olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour, arrowroot, or cornstarch
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream, or cream of your choice
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Asparagus
Instructions:
  1. Carefully wash asparagus making sure that all soil particles have been removed.  Remove and discard the “woody” part of the asparagus stem by holding the spear horizontally and snapping the bottom where the spear starts to droop.  It should snap easily by hand.  Cut the asparagus into two-inch lengths.  
  2. Sauté onion in hot butter on medium-high heat for three minutes until softened.
  3. Stir flour into onion-butter mixture stirring constantly for even cooking.  Slowly add the chicken and vegetable broth while whisking until smooth.
  4. Add asparagus.  Bring to a soft boil, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. With an immersion blender, puree until smooth while in the saucepan.  (You can also put the soup in a blender, use precaution when blending hot soup) 
  6. Strain soup into a clean saucepan.  Add cream of your choice, (I used half and a half), and heat until hot.  
  7. Add 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.

Suggestion: Serve this soup with our easy-to-make homemade seed crackers. So good!

Chef Yvonne Dwyer

Recipe compliments of OPL Naturalist and Home Chef Yvonne Dwyer

OPL Plant-rich Recipes

Eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you and the planet.  Find more delicious OPL-recommended plant-rich recipes here.

An Insider’s Guide to Exploring Zion National Park

An Insider’s Guide to Exploring Zion National Park

If you are lucky enough to explore Zion National Park, then you are lucky enough, according to One Planet Life Naturalist Yvonne Dwyer. An experienced park visitor, Yvonne is happy to share her insider’s guide as to what to explore at Zion National Park.

Located in southwest Utah, Zion National Park is an awe-inspiring nature preserve. Here are Yvonne’s tips for getting the most out of your visit.

Getting into the Park:  

Use the free Zion Canyon Shuttle to travel into Zion Canyon. Each full shuttle reduces traffic by 28 cars. According to NPS @ Zion National Park, shuttles reduce vehicle miles traveled per day by over 50,000 and reduce CO2 emissions by over 12 tons per day.

 

Where to Stay:

Reserve a room six months in advance at the Historic Zion Lodge settled in Zion Canyon. If you prefer to camp, there are three campgrounds: Watchman, The Lava Point, and South.  Senior/Access pass holders get 50% off the camping fee, which does not include the America the Beautiful Pass. Many of the first-come, first-served sites should be claimed first thing in the morning during the summer months. Campground restrooms have no showers or electrical outlets. Comfort stations provide flush toilets, drinkable water, and trash containers. Be aware: Zion gets extremely hot during summer, with little to no shade. There are very few riverside campsites along the Virgin River.

Zion Park Campground
What to See:
  • The Temple of Sinawava a natural amphitheater, is known as the park’s hallmark. It is an easy 2-mile paved Riverside trail walk that follows the Virgin River upstream, leading to the Narrows.  
  • The Grotto – a shaded picnic area among cottonwood trees, is a great place to relax, read, or journal. 
  • Weeping Rock – Dripping springs create beautiful hanging gardens and mini waterfalls.  It’s a steep hike but short – stunning views of Angels Landing and Big Bend. 
  • Zion-Mt Carmel Highway Tunnel – Built in the 1920s, this 12-mile scenic drive with spectacular views of the canyon below and the Great Arch connects Zion Canyon to the east side of the park.
  • Canyon Overlook Trail – This one-mile trail has beautiful views of Zion Canyon.  It begins at a higher elevation, is short, and the parking area is very limited.
  • Checkerboard Mesa – On the east side of the park, the mesa has no running water, and bathrooms are scarce.
  • Angels Landing – 5,700 feet above Zion Canyon, this is the most iconic and notorious rock formation in the United States.
  • Court of the Patriarchs – You will find beautiful views of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob peaks  –  named by Frederick Fisher in 1916 for the biblical figures.
  • Zion Narrows – Take a day hike on the gorgeous riverwalk with stunning sheer multi-colored rock layers and sandstone cliffs, natural springs, and hanging gardens with ferns, moss, and Columbine in nearly every turn you take. You will surely never forget this experience.  Be aware: The Narrows is subject to flash flooding. Check the weather before hiking here, as storms can cause rising water levels.  Hiking in the Narrows may involve walking, wading, or swimming in some areas. Be sure to bring a hiking stick and wear water shoes with an excellent grip.  We wore Keen water shoes with a great grip (rocks are slippery) and wool socks because the water is cold (water shoes are available to rent), and permits are required for overnight camping.

Enjoy your experience and share your photos with us on Instagram @one_planet_life. Download the One Planet Life app to earn points for your nature journey.

Yvonne’s Zion National Park Photo Gallery
Deliciously Vibrant Veggie Pizza For Sharing

Deliciously Vibrant Veggie Pizza For Sharing

Next time you’re in the mood for pizza, try this veggie version instead. It’s a great way to eat fresh vegetables in pizza form. Share with friends!

Prep Time: 45 min

Total Time: (Refer to dough baking instructions)

Ingredients:

For Pesto: 

  • 3-6 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup romano cheese
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup basil

Pizza Toppings: 

  • Ricotta cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet onion
  • Spinach
  • Red pepper flakes
Homemade Pesto Ingredients
Cheese and Tomatoes

Instructions:

Pesto: In a food processor, add basil leaves and garlic (measure with your heart, I use 6 cloves)! Add the jalapeno, toasted pine nuts, and romano cheese. Pulse ingredients with olive oil until smooth.

Caramelized Onions: Slice your sweet onion and place in a pan with some olive oil. Continuously stir them for roughly 30 minutes until they are soft and a brown, caramelized color.

Depending on your level of fancy, you can purchase pre-made dough from a grocery store or make your own at home! When you’re ready to assemble, add a layer of your favorite marinara sauce. Then the ricotta and veggies to your liking! Top with your mozzarella and red pepper flakes and bake according to the dough’s directions.

Yummy!

Sarah Biddle Image

Recipe compliments of Home Chef Sarah Biddle and OPL Community Member

OPL Plant-rich Recipes

Eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you and the planet.  Find more delicious OPL-recommended plant-rich recipes here.

Easy Breakfast Wrap for Dinner

Easy Breakfast Wrap for Dinner

Enjoy the delicious and healthy goodness of eggs, for dinner. Recharge after a long day with this colorful and vibrant veggie and egg wrap!

Total Time: 30 min.

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:
  • 2 potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 2-4 eggs
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 11 package of Brussel sprouts
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Parmesan to taste
  • Cheese of choice to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Whole wheat tortilla
Butternut Squash

Instructions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut Brussel sprouts in halves and place them on a baking sheet with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, then finish them off with shredded parmesan and the juice of half a lemon.
  4. Finely dice 1 bell pepper and 1 red onion, allow them to simmer in a pan with olive oil on low heat.
  5. Wash, peel, and shred two potatoes. Add the shredded potatoes to your simmering pepper and onion. Allow this to cook on a slightly higher heat for 15-20 minutes.
  6. In another pan, add your whisked eggs. Continue to stir until the eggs are just cooked then add your spinach and cheese.
  7. Once your hash browns are tender and crisp on the outside and your eggs are cooked prepare your tortilla for assembly.
  8. Add a layer on your potato mixture, eggs, cheese, avocado. Roll up your burrito and place it back in your skillet. Toast on each side for two minutes then serve with your Brussel sprouts!
  9. Enjoy!
Sarah Biddle Image

Recipe compliments of Home Chef Sarah Biddle and OPL Community Member

OPL Plant-rich Recipes

Eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you and the planet.  Find more delicious OPL-recommended plant-rich recipes here.

Roasted Beet Salad With Honey-dijon Vinaigrette

Roasted Beet Salad With Honey-dijon Vinaigrette

Fresh roasted beets are so flavorful and full of beneficial nutrients. Combined with greens, goat cheese, walnuts, and vinaigrette, this roasted beet salad may just become one of your favorite salads. This recipe was adapted from Once Upon a Chef by Jennifer Segal.

Servings: Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

For the Beets:

  • 1 bunch medium beets (about 3)
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil

For the Salad:

  • 10 ounces mixed greens
  • 3 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped 

For the Vinaigrette:

    • 2 tbs honey
    • 1 1/2 tbs Dijon mustard
    • 3 tbs red wine vinegar
    • 1-1/2 tbs minced shallots
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
    • 6 tbs extra virgin olive oil
French Sorrel
Instructions:

For the Beets:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Wipe or scrub beets clean, then trim the stems down to one inch. Place beets on a large piece of foil; then wrap foil around them to form a neat packet. Roast directly on the rack in the middle of the oven until tender.  About 45 minutes – one hour.  Test for doneness by piercing the largest beet with a knife.  If it enters easily, it’s done.  Unwrap beets and let them sit until cool enough to handle. Use your hands or a paring knife to peel skin, then cut into 1/2-inch dice.  Set aside. 

For the Vinaigrette:

In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, shallots, salt, and pepper.  Whisking constantly, slowly add the oil in a steady stream.  Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

For the Salad:

Place the greens in a large bowl, drizzle with about half of the vinaigrette and toss to combine.  Add as much of the remaining vinaigrette as desired and toss again.  Divide greens onto plates, then sprinkle with beets, walnuts, and goat cheese.  (Warning, if you mix this all together in a salad bowl the beets will turn the salad pink.). Serve immediately.

Chef Yvonne Dwyer

Recipe compliments of OPL Naturalist and Home Chef Yvonne Dwyer

OPL Plant-rich Recipes

Eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you and the planet.  Find more delicious OPL-recommended plant-rich recipes here.

Share This