Asparagus Tart and Yogurt Soup
Spring break is almost over; we are getting ready for the daily routine. Taking small get away with family is something I love, it kinds of put all of us back together. The electronic saga of cell phone and emails take a little back seat for good and kids take a break from games and movies without a whole lot of drama. All in all having all of us together without any distraction is precious to be honest.
We are home; the laundry is done. Windows are open to welcome the cool spring breeze. My coffee machine is running, every little thing in my home is giving me a welcoming smile… And I am in my kitchen, making my favorite meal for my family, Asparagus Tart & Yogurt Soup. God, it feels good to be home!!
Let start with this gorgeous tart, this tart tops my delicious quick fix list. Frozen store bought puff pastry, some cheese whatever you have on hand and asparagus, that’s it. There is absolutely no rocket science involved here. If you don’t have asparagus try this with tomatoes, this tart is so easy and so fun to make. Let me add here that I always keep frozen puff pastry in my freezer, they are your best friend mark my words on it.
Now coming to the soup. This luscious Yogurt Soup is actually a quick version of famous Indian dish known as “Karhi”, a beautiful yogurt based dish. The yogurt or buttermilk is mixed with Chickpea Flour (it adds a nice texture and thickness to the soup along with a nutty flavor) and simmered gently into a thick and creamy soup/gravy like consistency. Generally fried chickpea flour dumplings are added to this but I usually enjoy this plain with a side of salad, bread or tart… This soup is beautifully tangy and gets a little heat from pepper but as I always say , you can adjust the heat and thickness for this soup according to you taste.
I enjoy home cooked meals, they always get me back on the track and this meal is a perfect example of delicious comfort in minutes!
Asparagus Tart and Yogurt Soup
- Asparagus – 1 ½ lb medium size (around 30-32)
- Puff Pastry frozen – 1 sheet.
- Feta Cheese – 4 oz.
- Olive oil – 1- 2 Tbsp.
- Salt and pepper as per taste.
- Red pepper flakes (optional).
- Some flour for dusting
- Yogurt – 2 cups.
- Chickpea flour – ½ cup.
- Water – 5-6 cups.
- Turmeric – ½ tsp.
- Cayenne pepper – ¼ tsp or as per taste.
- Cumin seeds – ½ tsp.
- Black peppercorns – 6-8
- Cloves – 3-4
- Ghee/vegetable oil – 1 tsp. salt as per taste.
- Salt as per taste.
- Cilantro, finely chopped – 2-3 Tbsp (optional).
- For Tempering-
- Cumin seeds -
- Whole Dried red pepper – 1-2 (optional).
- Cayenne pepper – ¼ tsp.
- Ghee/ vegetable oil – 1 tsp.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Thaw one sheet of puff pastry (if using frozen one). Wash asparagus, trim the bottom of the asparagus spears and let them dry well on a clean kitchen towel.
- Lightly flour the work surface and roll the thawed puff pastry to a 15 –by- 9inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges if needed. Place the pastry on the baking tray and lightly mark it with a help of sharp knife 1 inch in from the edges to make a rectangle. With the help of fork lightly prick the dough all over inside the marking to help to prevent it from having bubbles while baking. Bake the pastry until golden for 13 – 15 minutes. Once done; remove the pastry from the oven and keep aside.
- Now sprinkle half cheese on the pre-baked pastry and arrange the prep asparagus crosswise on it alternating the tips and ends. Now sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the asparagus. Drizzle the olive oil and slightly sprinkle salt and pepper.
- Bake it again in preheated 400°F oven till the asparagus are tender, 15 – 20 minutes. Sprinkle red pepper flakes if needed and serve warm!!
- In a large clean bowl combine yogurt, chickpea flour, turmeric, cayenne pepper and salt. Mix well till the chickpea flour is completely mixed into the yogurt and there are no more lumps. Now gradually add water and mix well till everything looks smooth, creamy and well mixed.
- In a large saucepan, heat ghee/oil and add cumin seeds, fry just until the cumin seeds start to darken. Now add the yogurt mixture along with peppercorns and cloves. Bring to a gentle boil; keep stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20- 25 minutes. Keep stirring frequently as it thickens to avoid it burning at the bottom of the pan. Cook it until it has reduced a bit and have smooth light custard like consistency. Remove it from the heat and keep aside covered while you make tempering.
- For tempering - heat a tsp of oil in a small pan, add cumin seeds and fry till they start getting darker. Now quickly add the dried pepper (if using), as soon as they get brown add cayenne pepper and pour this over the yogurt soup and give a quick stir.
- Add cilantro and serve hot