Ed Markey and his wife, Dr. Susan Blumenthal, contribute a recipe called Mass-paragus Soup.
Ed Markey and his wife, Dr. Susan Blumenthal, contribute a recipe called Mass-paragus Soup. Winslow Townson/AP
Sometimes it feels like this country is so torn apart by political partisanship that people from the two major parties just cannot agree on anything — including food.
In an attempt to find commonalities, we are putting together recipes for a Culture War Cookbook. If folks from both sides of the aisle can sidle up to a table together and appreciate each other's victuals, maybe they can eventually learn to appreciate each other's viewpoints.
Rather than stew about them.
Mel Warshaw, treasurer of the Framingham Democratic Town Committee, thinks the idea just might work. "If it's a good recipe, I think it could be fun," says Warshaw. "It would be a good thing to share what they think is good. It's one way of finding common ground."
So in the spirit of "clabberation", here are two distinctive recipes for soup from two distinctive political parties.
The first is "Mass-paragus Soup" from the kitchen of Ed Markey, D-Mass — sworn in as senator this month — and his wife, Dr. Susan Blumenthal, as it appears in the Framingham committee's Yes We Can Cookbook.
The second is a gazpacho recipe from the Cookbook Project of the Alamance Republican Women in Elon, N.C. It was passed along by Barbara Brown, hospitality chairwoman of the group.
Ed Markey's Mass-Paragus Soup
2 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup minced parsley
1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoons flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and white pepper
Cook asparagus until tender. Rinse immediately in cold water and drain. Cut 1 inch tips from stalks and reserve. Cut the stalks into 1 inch pieces.
In a large saucepan, sauté onion, parsley, and coriander in butter until vegetables are softened. Sprinkle in flour and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring with a whisk. Remove from heat and stir in chicken broth. Return to heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Add cut asparagus stalks to broth mixture. Purée in blender, in batches, until smooth. Pour into a large, heavy saucepan and stir in cream and reserved asparagus tips. (Save 6 tips for garnishing). Over moderate heat, reheat soup but do not boil. Stir in lemon juice, then salt and white pepper to taste. Serve warm. (In summer, it can be served cold.)
Add dollops of creme fraiche or sour cream sprinkled with chopped chives.
Brush toast rounds with garlic butter and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Broil for several minutes. Serve on the side.
Serving size: 1/6 of a recipe (13.6 ounces)
Alamance Republican Women's Gazpacho
1/4 cup Mazola corn oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
2 cups tomato juice (like Campbell's)
1 pound tomatoes, coarsely chopped (2 cups)
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (Tabasco)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
In small skillet heat corn oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and oregano; sauté 2 minutes. Pour into large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients.
Place about 2 cups of the soup in blender or food processor. Blend or process until almost smooth. Stir into remaining soup in bowl. Cover; refrigerate several hours or until well chilled.
Serving size: 1 cup. Serve cold.
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