I. Ran. Out. Of. Time.
Life happens with three kids, a paying gig as restaurant critic for Denver Magazine, and a tummy bug that overstayed its welcome. But now things have settled down and I can share this recipe for Asparagus Soup. I meant to post it weeks ago after picking pounds of pounds of asparagus at my farm share. But better late than never. Besides, where you live, asparagus might still be rolling in. (I believe today is the last day for picking at my CSA.)
If you look up “asparagus soup” in an old cookbook, you’re sure to find a recipe calling for lots of cream. Cream soups, like cream sauces and desserts that got lit on fire, were all the rage. Now, not so much. This soup is much fresher and lighter than the old cream of asparagus soups of yore, because instead of 1 cup of cream I just finish the soup with a splash of dairy. And if you want to skip it altogether, you can, as long as you have extra broth on hand to thin the soup.
One last thought: Sometimes asparagus seems too expensive to serve to guests. One pound barely serves four adults as a side dish, but it provides a more than adequate foundation for soup. In other words, if you have to pay $5.99 at Whole Foods to buy a pound of organic asparagus, you might want to stretch it into this easy but impressive soup.
1 pound asparagus
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 tablespoon butter
Dash of cream
Wash asparagus and snap off woody ends. Trim into one-inch pieces, reserving tips. Cook stems in 5 quarts of boiling salted water until tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from water with slotted spoon, run under cold water and set aside. Cook tips in same water, about 4 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon, rinse under cold water, and coarsely chop. Transfer all but tips to a food processor and puree until smooth, adding cooking water as necessary.
Melt butter in a soup pot and add onions, cooking over medium low about five minutes. Add chicken stock and asparagus puree and cook several more minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add chopped asparagus tips and finish with a few tablespoons of heavy cream. Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan and slices of crusty baguette.