Simple Asparagus Soup

There is nothing better, this time of year, than asparagus soup.  It`s the taste of mid-late Spring and only the freshest stalks will do – this soup just isn`t the same in the middle of winter or later summer.  You can eat it hot or cold and change it`s ingredients at will.

It also stores well through the week and can easily round-out or become a full meal within minutes of your need.

Asparagus soup only has a few required ingredients for me:

  • Asparagus
  • Liquid (could be stock though I`m just as easy with tomato sauce or canned tomatoes or even using water as half my liquid base)
  • A touch of lemon
  • A touch of butter
  • Salt and pepper

It takes about 15 minutes to make, like this:

  1. I start by placing the asparagus in a wide pan and just cover with liquid.  The asparagus will flavor the liquid it is cooked in as well as gaining flavors from it in return.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook through – it`s ok to cook beyond the point you would normally eat it as you will pulverize it in the next step (though I believe the best point is still al dente or crunchy).
  3. Blend into soup.

Here are some important variations and additions I like to add (though all are optional):

  • Sour cream is a great addition.
  • I like to add diced tomatoes after blending the whole thing (though I use their juice as part of the liquid above).
  • Old cheese rinds (we keep some in the freezer for this purpose).  Parmesan works really well.
  • Cheese on top at serving time.
  • Hot peppers are welcome.
  • Bacon.
  • Fresh or dried herbs
  • A touch of milk or cream lightens the appearance of the entire dish.
  • Lemon zest

What else do you add to yours?

Comments

  1. potatoes!

  2. A recipe I read about a month ago suggested adding a splash of balsamic vinegar to the finished soup … that the flavor complemented the earthy woodiness of the asparagus. Boy, they were right! And less calories than cream.

    On another note, I found a recipe for asparagus tapenade that is very tasty and fresh and good for you:
    http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/2005/04/day-seven-asparagus-tapenade.html
    I’ve made this twice, and I would suggest that the secret is not to scimp on the basil and thyme.

  3. Ollamha Anne says:

    A little garlic chutney (good with any kind of soup)… a dollop of chipotle mayo…

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