Monday, December 17, 2012

Creamy Asparagus Soup with Roasted Garlic & Chive Chevre {Giveaway}


Growing up I was the weird cheese kid. My mom would buy those huge bulk blocks of feta cheese from Costco and I would take off chunks of the cheese and eat it like an apple. It would gross everyone out in my family, but I didn't care because I love my stinky cheese. The stinkier, the better. Feta didn't last long in our household because of me...the stinky cheese kid.


Once I got into college, my weird love for cheese only got more intense. I discovered different types of cheese such as blue cheese, Gouda, Gorgonzola, goat cheese and much much more. I even dragged Dusty to monthly cheese tastings in Missoula at the Good Food Store. Give me a hunk of stinky cheese and I'm in heaven. 

A while ago I was up late one night watching Food Network (like usual) and a show I hadn't seen before came on, Road Tasted with the Neelys, and they were in Montana! Imagine my surprise seeing foodie places from Montana on Food Network. The state of Montana usually gets ignored in the food world unless it involves steak. During the entire 30 minute episode I was so giddy and excited to see different businesses and bakeries from across the state being featured by the Neely couple. One of the places that was featured by the Neelys was only 2 hours away from me! Who knew I lived so close to an organic dairy that produced chevre, ricotta and feta? This place I'm speaking of is the Grade A Amaltheia Organic Dairy in Belgrade, Montana. 



The Amaltheia Dairy is a family run business owned by Melvyn and Sue Brown. On Thanksgiving Day of 2000 they started their dairy and in 2002 began making their own cheeses. The name Amaltheia for the dairy was derived from the greek mythology of the goat named Amaltheia that nursed Zeus growing up. According to greek mythology Zeus rewarded his trusty goat by putting her image in the sky as the Capricorn constellation and took the goats horn to create the cornucopia....and trust me, this cheese that they create would please the Gods! 

Each day at the Amaltheia Dairy tucked in the base of the beautiful Bridger Mountains in Belgrade, Montana, approximately 280 goats get milked and create 150 gallons of goats milk. The milk then gets carefully processed into the various types of cheese including chevre, ricotta and feta. 

Did you know that 1 pound of goat cheese takes 5 pounds of milk?
Crazy!

Besides the basic chevre, Amaltheia also has some really wonderful flavored chevre including: Roasted Garlic & Chive, Spiced Pepper, Sun-Dried Tomato and Perigold Black Truffle. Even the herbs used to flavor the cheese is grown locally. When they say organic, they mean it!


I seriously love the Roasted Garlic & Chive and I'm dying to get my hands on the Perigold Black Truffle! I can only imagine how amazing it would be on my Wild Mushroom & Goat Cheese Pizza. Dang. That really sounds good. 


Mmmm. Feta. My favorite!

The Amaltheia Organic Dairy is a true treasure to the state of Montana. Their cheeses are a very high quality product and you can taste the time, energy and love put into their beloved cheese products. 

Now here comes the best part....A GIVEAWAY!

Sue and Melvyn of the Amaltheia Dairy have generously donated a fantastic giveaway for The Girly Girl Cooks readers...


A fantastic bundle of their fabulous cheese!

Included in the giveaway:

  • Whole Milk Ricotta
  • Organic Goat Feta
  • Plain Chevre
  • Roasted Garlic & Chive Chevre
  • Spiced Pepper Chevre
  • Sun-Dried Tomato Chevre
  • Perigold Black Truffle Chevre
That's a whole lot of cheese and such a fun giveaway!!!


To Enter (Mandatory Entry):



Leave a comment telling me your favorite type of cheese. 


For Additional Entries (leave a separate comment for each entry):

-Like Girly Girl Cooks on Facebook

-Like Amaltheia Organic Dairy on Facebook

-Share the giveaway on Facebook 

-Follow Girly Girl Cooks on Twitter

-Follow Amaltheia Organic Dairy on Twitter

-Share the giveaway  on Twitter

-Follow Girly Girl Cooks on Pinterest

-Follow Girly Girl Cooks on Instagram

That is 9 total entries for the giveaway! I'd say those are good odds! If you can't wait for the giveaway and want to have some goat cheese heaven, you can purchase their cheese online or find their products at numerous locations in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho

**A random winner will be announced Friday, December 21st. The winner has 24 hours to contact me, otherwise a new winner will be chosen**


CONGRATS TO JANET O'BRIEN! YOU ARE THE WINNER OF THE AMALTHEIA CHEESE GIVEAWAY!

Email me at girlygirlcooks@aol.com with your address and I'll get the giveaway out to you ASAP!



Besides eating cheese as is, I love cooking with cheese. Last week I went out to dinner with Dusty and his Grandfather for a delightful and really entertaining evening at Walkers Grill to celebrate the end of the semester. We both got straight A's and survived the Fall semester, so a nice dinner was in order. The soup we were served to accompany the main course was a creamy asparagus soup with a paprika oil drizzle. I don't know what it is about Walkers, but every time I eat there I want to recreate their recipes at home so I can enjoy them all the time. Thus, I made my own Creamy Asparagus Soup with the Amaltheia Roasted Garlic & Chive Chevre.

The creaminess of the soup plus the garlicky-onion tang from the chevre is a savory and wonderful combination. The cheese melts into the soup and the bits that you scoop up with your spoon is a burst of delicious flavor. This could possibly be one of my new favorite soups!

Creamy Asparagus Soup with Roasted Garlic & Chive Chevre
{Serves 4}

-1 pound Asparagus
-1/2 Yellow Onion-finely minced
-1/4 cup Butter (1/2 stick)
-1 tbsp Flour
-2 cups Low-Sodium Fat Free Chicken Broth
-Salt & Pepper
-1 oz of Amaltheia Organic Roasted Garlic & Chive Chevre

Cut the flowered tops off of 8 asparagus spears, just about 1 inch long and set aside for garnish. Also, cut the bottom 2 inches of the woody base of asparagus and discard. Chop the remaining asparagus spears into 1/2 inch pieces.

In a large pot, melt the 1/4 cup butter over medium heat. Add the minced onion and chopped asparagus to the pot and cook until the onion and asparagus become softened. Sprinkle in the tablespoon of flour, stir to combine and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the chicken broth, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Blanch the 8 asparagus tips for 2 minutes in the boiling water and then submerge the tips into cold ice water to shock them. Set aside.

After 15 minutes of simmering, taste the soup and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Puree the soup in a blender until smooth and then pass through a strainer for a perfectly smooth texture. Add more salt and pepper to taste, if needed.

To Serve: Ladle the soup into each of the 4 bowls and place 2 asparagus tips into each bowel. Sprinkle equal amounts of the crumbled roasted garlic and chive chevre into each bowl. Enjoy with some bread and a green salad. Enjoy!

*Note: Amaltheia Organic Dairy generously donated and provided me a package full of their awesome products to giveaway to my readers. All opinions and thoughts written about the products are my own. I love this cheese! Thank you Amaltheia! 
*Source: Information and background about the Organic Dairy and the picture of the goats was sourced from the Amaltheia website.
Recipe Inspired & Adapted from Darren McGrady of Eating Royally

19 comments:

  1. My favorite's gouda :)

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  2. My all time favorite cheese has to be mozzarella, only because I am a pizza freak! I do enjoy other cheeses like goat cheese and feta and put them on pizza on a regular basis. Goat cheese has such a wonderful texture, nice and creamy, where feta has a nice peculiar flavor. One of my favorite pizzas has an olive oil base with some minced garlic, a heap of fresh spinach, sundried tomatoes, feta cheese, pine nuts, a bit of mozzarella and some fresh basil. Thanks for the oppportunity to win some great cheese!

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  3. I Like Girly Girl Cooks on Facebook.

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  4. I Like Amaltheia Organic Dairy on Facebook.

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  5. I Follow Girly Girl Cooks on Twitter.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I Follow Amaltheia Organic Dairy on Twitter.

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  7. I tweeted: https://twitter.com/FireRunner2379/status/281025926735753217

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  8. I Follow Girly Girl Cooks on Pinterest.

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  9. I love goat cheese!! This looks amazing!!

    New follower!
    Janet O'Brien

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  10. I just saying "cheese" is my favrotie cheese too vague? Cause I can't pick a favorite. Fine, Havarti.

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  11. I retweeted your giveaway on the Twitterverse. It's a fab one!!

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  12. You know I follow you on the Pinterest too - natch.

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  13. I love brie!
    mermont84 at yahoo.com

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  14. I love cheese!! I wonder if they make a pepper jack goat cheese because that would be da' bomb!!

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  15. Haley I finally found your blog and love it! My favorite cheese is mozzarella...who doesn't love a mozzarella cheese stick?

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