Bookworm of Edwards hosts community soup supper on Friday | VailDaily.com

Bookworm of Edwards hosts community soup supper on Friday

Asparagus bisque

Chef Kevin Barnes from Echo Lake Inn in Ludlow, Vermont

Okemo Mountain Resort

  • 2 pounds asparagus
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 ounces butter
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 16 ounces chicken stock
  • 8 ounces half & half cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Clean asparagus by trimming lower stems and removing ‘woody’ bottom portion. Slice asparagus into desired size then set aside. Melt butter in heavy sauce pan. Add onion and saute until onions are translucent. Add asparagus to pan and lower heat. Cook until asparagus is tender. Sprinkle onion and asparagus with flour and stir to coat evenly. Let this mixture cook slowly for about 1 minute while being careful not to burn flour. Slowly add chicken stock while stirring. Once stock is incorporated, add cream. Lightly simmer for about 30 minutes while stirring occasionally so not to let the soup stick to bottom of pan.

Serves 8.

"I am thankful," "I am appreciative," "I am grateful" are all phrases we are familiar with, especially in this month of Thanksgiving. I am personally, and inwardly, fortunate to have a wonderful husband and two very adventurous little eaters in my family. My youngest — my sidekick — ate bowl after bread bowl filled with New England Clam Chowder, totaling seven samples in six days, during a trip to the East Coast last summer. My youngest is my meat and potatoes eater! My oldest just celebrated his 7th birthday and requested beets and Brussels sprouts for his birthday dinner. Bless his fruit-and-vegetable-fueled heart!

Outwardly and philanthropically, I am grateful for The Bookworm of Edwards and owner Nicole Magistro's ever-present, community focus that is both abundant and inspiring. This Friday at 6 p.m., The Bookworm is hosting a Ski Town Soups Community Soup Supper. It's free and guests can enjoy a multitude of soups and salads, Avon Bakery rolls, HP Provisions desserts, mingling with friends and possibly checking-off items from Christmas lists. For every copy of the Ski Town Soups cookbook sold, one Thanksgiving meal will be donated to the Salvation Army, providing for a person in need in Eagle County. Each Thanksgiving, 2,500 meals are served to Vail Valley people in need by the Salvation Army. Happily, I will sign any Ski Town Soups cookbooks, if so desired. I am looking forward, with the upmost pleasure, to mingling with charitable individuals.

Gratitude an important ingredient

With the idea of sharing our many abundances, I reached-out to a number of culinary-focused friends and asked their thoughts on food-centric appreciations. I received a plethora of responses, including: "harvest abundances," "modern appliances," "dedicated staff in the kitchen," and "taking a different spin on a traditional recipe." Specifically, Bill Greenwood, executive chef of Beano's Cabin in Beaver Creek, summarized his appreciation by giving thanks for his "beautiful family, the Vail Valley and the culture it provides. I'm also thankful for having the opportunity to work up in the mountains and the inspiration it gives me to further progress the idea of what Colorado cuisine is."

There is an absolute devotion to the culture and cuisine of the mountains at Beano's Cabin, as well as throughout many restaurants in the Vail Valley. But, another loyalty rings true in this community, and even with my recent status as a Vail resident, I recognize the strong and true friendships of this small society.

Andi and Mats Andersson, the creative forces behind The Tall Swede Catering, captured this by stating, "the Tall Swede is thankful for the clientele that we have established over the past 20 years, as we use that ingredient (gratitude) in our most beloved dish — our passion and the love of cooking!"

These generous thoughts fuel the soul to be thankful for the small things: the warmth of a hearth, the intimate and cozy home environment, and family members gathered around an abundantly dressed dinner table. In the anticipation of that beautifully edible Thanksgiving meal, to be consumed shortly, I love the opportunity to share this asparagus bisque recipe for the pure fact of adding color to a traditionally beige Thanksgiving meal.

Tracy Miller, our resident food guru of the valley, owner of Colorful Cooking providing both CMC and private cooking classes, as well as hosting a multitude of shows on TV8 and writing food-specific articles for the Vail Daily, is thankful for "how much interest there is in learning how to cook." How perfect, as soups are quite forgiving, thus the perfect place to start when beginning to cook.

As the ski season commences, I am also providing a Tuscan Turkey and White Bean Soup recipe. This is a perfect leftover Thanksgiving turkey recipe, as well as a robust mix of protein and vegetables — a great mid-day meal for any skier! But, no "ode to Thanksgiving" would be complete without a mention of pies, of which LouLa's in Whitefish, Montana is famous. To cherished and unique pie-maker and owner, Mary Lou Covey, Chef Shaun McCollum of LouLa's is entirely thankful. Additionally, Chef Shaun is "grateful for being able to cook for someone and bring joy to them through their taste buds. I am also grateful to have the chance to make people happy by doing the very thing I love, making food for the soul!" And, as I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, I am content with the fact that I have left you with a couple of soul satisfying soup recipes to go along with the corresponding feeling of the season. May your hearts and stomachs be equally filled with warmth!

Jennie Iverson lives in Vail, CO and is the author of the Ski Town Soups cookbook. Iverson provides insight into the culinary scene of ski towns across America. You can find more recipes and information at http://www.skitownsoups.com