Sunday, April 23, 2006

Asparagus Season is Here!


In Massachusetts, the first thing to sprout out of the garden is asparagus. And what an exciting day that is because seeing these spears shooting out of the ground means that this is the just the beginning of many months of fresh, delicious vegetables and fruit coming your way.

Asparagus is wonderful simply steamed or roasted (coat with olive oil and salt, roast at 450 degrees for about 20-25 minutes). But I thought I'd branch out a little this year and make some Asparagus Soup. I started thinking about what ingredients might make this King of Spring come to life, headed to Whole Foods and brightened up a rainy Sunday afternoon by making this really healthy, delicious soup. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. And here's to farm-fresh produce for many months to come!


Asparagus Soup Recipe

Ingredients:
• 1 large bunch of asparagus (about 20 spears), snap off the ends and chop into roughly 2-inch pieces
• 2 large handfuls of spinach (about 2 cups packed)
• 1 onion chopped
• 2 leeks chopped (white and light green part only - make sure to rinse them well)
• 4 garlic cloves
• 4 cups chicken broth
• 1/4 cup heavy cream
• Chopped chives for garnish (optional)
• Dollop of sour cream (optional)
• Sautéed scallops (optional)
• Salt and pepper to taste

How to:
1. Sauté onions, leeks and garlic for 3 minutes.
2. Add in asparagus. Sauté for 5 minutes.
3. Pour in chicken broth. Bring to boil then cook on low for 15 minutes.
4. Add in spinach. Cook for another 2 minutes.
5. Purée the soup*.
6. Blend in the heavy cream.
7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
8. I topped each bowl of soup off with a small dollop of sour cream, a few scallops I sautéed in butter and some chives but these additions are optional. The soup is velvety and delicious all by itself.

* Puréeing Soup
Puréeing soup while it's hot can be a dangerous task if you purée the soup in a blender. It can blow the lid right off and splatter soup all over the kitchen. I'm speaking from experience. It's not pretty. So I recommend letting it cool first unless you have a Hand Blender (aka Immersion Blender) that you can insert right into the pot. They are great. Unfortunately I just burned out the motor on mine so I had to let the soup cool. In order to expedite the cooling process, I created an "ice bath" for the soup. I took a large bowl, put a lot of ice in it, poured the soup into a smaller glass bowl and sat the bowl of soup in the ice bath on the window sill with the window open. Once it cooled, I puréed it in baches in the blender.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Donna said...

I was the lucky guest for soup and Monopoly. I was annihilated at Monopoly but the soup eased the pain. It's extraordinary! So flavorful and aromatic. Belongs in my list of top 10 Lynne creations. Hope many of you try it; I know you'll love it.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Lynne said...

thanks donna. it's amazing how much better things taste with farm-fresh produce.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous madeira mama said...

Made the soup and it was not only delicious but oh so good for you.

7:52 PM  

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