22 April 2010

asparagus soup

Asparagus is one of the foods I didn't like growing up, but totally love now. I remember the first time I tasted it and went, mmmmm. I was in Austria with my mom and her cousin out at some rest stop restaurant (random, right). It was cold and rainy, and my Tito got cream of asparagus soup. He asked if I wanted some, and I peered at that green stuff and wrinkled my nose. He insisted, and I didn't want to be rude(r), so I had a sip. And it was delicious! It was creamy, surprisingly sweet, and very fresh tasting. I wanted to eat the whole thing. And that was it: I was turned on to asparagus.
Joy of joys, it's in season (thus those other posts with asparagus recently.) I couldn't find my old recipe for this, so I Googled and mashed together a bunch of different recipes to come up with this. This is a light soup, reminscent of the one I had way back when. A heavy cream would make it richer and slightly sweeter, but the evap milk has fewer calories. You can also substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth if you want a full out vegetarian soup.

Asparagus Soup

1 lb asparagus
3 tbsp butter
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can reduced sodium chicken broth (or 2 cups)
3/4 C evaporated milk (or heavy cream)
salt and pepper to taste
Special equipment: immersion blender or food processor

Snap the tough ends from the asparagus. Cut them into 2" pieces. If you want to decorate with the tips, save 4 tips.

In a medium sized pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Sautee the onions about 3-4 minutes until it's getting soft. Add the asparagus and garlic and sautee another 5 minutes. Add the stock. Bring to a simmer, turn down the heat to med-low, cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until the asparagus is very tender. Take off the heat.

Use the immersion blender to puree the soup, or food process until pureed. Stir in the evaporated milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat back up to temperature you like. Serve with croutons. Or if you want to use the reserved tips, sautee them for a minute until tender and top the soup.

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