Asparagus Soup

16 May

If you didn’t know already, it’s asparagus season! I’m trying to do more with seasonal ingredients (last season it was brussel sprouts) and though I don’t have a Farmer’s Almanac or have a green thumb (far from it, actually, as I managed to kill a cactus once) I take cues from what I see at the local grocers (Young Bros. on West Broadway and Southlands Farm Market, being my faves) and what’s the daily special at fine dineries.

My first taste of asparagus of the season was for Mother’s Day dinner at Province Marinaside, where I had asparagus soup. $9 a bowl? Thanks, but I think I can make it myself. I bought a bunch of asparagus to sub in for haricot verts (aka green beans) in my nicoise salad (recipe to come soon), and couldn’t help but stare at the wasted ends. As you know, you have to bend the asparagus till it snaps, separating the tender bits from the not so tender. But I’m chinese and I hate to waste anything, and I ended up snapping off 1/3 of not so tender bits. So I thought of putting them to good use and pureeing them to make a soup. No one would know, right? Below is the Asparagus Soup from Saveur.com and my tweaks and notes.

Asparagus Soup

SERVES 4 – 6

Asparagus growers usually discard the skinny shoestring asparagus spears, but they are perfect for this preparation.

2 lbs. fresh shoestring asparagus
4 cups Chicken Stock

4 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. flour
2 cups milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Prepare asparagus by holding bottom half of each spear with both hands and gently bending it until it snaps where it naturally breaks, separating tough fibrous end from tender part. Discard ends. Drain and cut into pieces.

2. Put asparagus and chicken stock into a medium pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until very soft, 10–15 minutes. Set aside 2 cups of the broth. Working in batches, purée asparagus and remaining broth in the bowl of a food processor or jar of a blender, then return to pot and set aside.

3. Melt butter in a medium-heavy saucepan over low heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 2 minutes. Whisk in reserved warm broth. Increase heat to medium and cook, stirring, until smooth and thickened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to pot with asparagus purée. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often. Add milk and return soup to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (see note below about salt)

My take:

1) Cut off the tips and reserve. Snap the asparagus to separate tender and not so tender ends. Slice the not so tenders vertically and in quarters. Cut the tender ends into small pieces. When boiling asparagus, put not so tenders in first for a few minutes, then tenders, and let boil till soft. At some point put in the tips to cook, but remove and put in an ice bath after it turns bright green. Reserve for garnishing.

2)Instead of chicken stock, I used the canned chinese chicken broth. Use less if you’re going to go the canned route (less 1/3) and take into account that it’s already salty, so hold off on the salt at the end! You may need to add more milk and cream if it’s too salty!

3) To make it creamier, I added a bit of evaporated milk, but use cream if you have it on hand. Adding more milk would dilute it instead of making it more creamy. Dollop with creme fraiche.

//

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Asparagus Soup”

  1. AgesseMub May 29, 2010 at 9:01 AM #

    Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!

    Cheers
    Christian, iwspo.net

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: