Fresh and Zippy Asparagus Soup

When asparagus is local and abundant, it’s time to make this soup. Not only is local the freshest, it’s also likely that the end that is generally tough is tender enough to include in the soup. The only way to know it though, is to cut a bit off and taste it. If it’s not tender just snap off and discard the tough part and proceed.

There’s another version of asparagus soup on my blog, but this one has a bit of zip by adding a serrano or jalapeño pepper.
Makes about 8 cups

1 pound fresh asparagus, washed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon good quality olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
1 large carrot, cut into ¼-inch dice
1 medium celery stalk, cut into ¼-inch dice
1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, trimmed and minced
2 – 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 – 3 sprigs fresh thyme, stripped of leaves and minced, reserve some for garnish
1 medium Yukon potato, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
4 – 5 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock, preferably home-made
1 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground white pepper to taste
Freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste (optional)
1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano

Taste the bottom-end of a couple of stalks to determine if they are tough and woody or tender enough to cook. Trim about half of the tips to reserve as garnish. Cut spears into ½-inch pieces.

Over medium heat melt butter and olive oil in a large heavy bottomed stock pot, Dutch oven, or French cocotte. Add onions, carrot, celery, serrano, or jalapeño a pinch of salt, and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté briefly to soften but do not allow to brown. Stir in the fresh thyme, then add potatoes, asparagus (minus the reserved tops) and stock.

Bring just to a boil, then cover and turn heat down to low. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender when pierced with a knife.

Meanwhile, bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the reserved asparagus tips for a few minutes, or until crisp tender. Drain the tips and place them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Doing this also preserves their bright green color. Once the tips are cool, drain them and set aside.

Purée soup until completely smooth using an immersion blender or in batches using a heavy-duty blender. Bring the soup back to a simmer, add the cream and cook uncovered until desired consistency is reached. Stir in the lemon juice (if using) and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, then top each bowl with asparagus tips, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and a sprinkle of chopped thyme. Serve while still hot.

If freezing, omit the cheese, cool and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost the soup in the refrigerator for 12 hours. Then reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat until hot, stir in the cheese and serve.

This entry was posted in General Blog, Recipes, Soups. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *