Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Fresh Asparagus Soup

Asparagus was finally on sale at my grocery store last week, so I bought 2 bunches thinking we were going to have company for dinner one night. Those plans fell through, so I was stuck with 2 pounds of beautiful asparagus and no plans for their future. I roasted one bunch with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a couple of cloves of garlic (a Moosewood recipe), but I wanted to make something different with the second bunch. Because of the cold, rainy weather today, I decided to make a soup! I searched online for a recipe that would use the ingredients I already had, and found this one on Allrecipes.com. I changed it just a little:

Fresh Asparagus Soup

1 pound fresh asparagus
1 shallot, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup milk
1/2 cup yogurt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

crushed red pepper to taste

Saute onion and shallot in olive oil until onion is translucent. While the onion is cooking, snap the woody end off the asparagus and discard. Then chop the asparagus into 2 inch pieces. When onion is translucent, add the asparagus and stir it around for a few minutes. Then add 1/2 cup broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until the asparagus is tender.
Reserve a few asparagus tips for garnish. Place remaining vegetable mixture in food processor and puree until smooth.
Melt butter in the pan that was used for simmering the asparagus and onions. Stir while sprinkling flour, salt, and pepper into the butter. Do not let the flour brown. Allow the mixture to cook only 2 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 1/4 cups vegetable broth and increase the heat. Continue stirring until the mixture comes to a boil.
Stir the vegetable puree and milk into the saucepan. Whisk yogurt into the mixture, followed by lemon juice. Stir until heated through, then ladle into bowls. Garnish with reserved asparagus tips. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired and crushed red pepper for a little added heat.

The original recipe is great, I'm sure. I added a shallot because I found one in the back of my veg drawer and wanted to use it up. I sauteed the onion and shallot instead of just boiling them in the broth because I don't like a strong raw onion flavor, and I was afraid that would overpower the soup. I didn't have soy milk, so I just used the skim milk I had. I'm sure any milk would taste great. And, of course, I added crushed red pepper because I like a little spice! It was quite tasty, and it really hit the spot tonight. Yum!
And look at how pretty it was:

BTW - This recipe gave me one more reason to covet an immersion blender. I'll just add it to the list of things to buy when we sell the house in TX!


Lili & Robin said...

that looks like SPA food. Gorgeous!! .... I wanted to make asparagas soup once but the recipe called for peeling the darn things. Forget that. :)

Sheila said...

Hey Paula, Sheila here. Lili's MIL...robin's mom. I love what you are doing here with your blog! I start salavating everytime I visit!..so you must be doing a good job!
Recently I had the opportunity to have lunch at a little Aussie cafe in San Antonio. It was near the Witte museum and is know for it's gluten free products. I am not especially concerned about gluten, but the salads were excellent. I ordered a lamb's leg sandwich, with it came a garden salad with an unforgettable citrus vinegarette dressing. I need the recipe...do you have any clues?
and love to you and your girls.

paulawy said...

Hi Sheila - I usually just start by searching google for a recipe I want. You can try the restaurant name in the search too. Maybe you'll find someone else who wanted the recipe and tried to recreate it at home! Good luck - and thanks for all the comments!

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