Monday, April 20, 2015

Asparagus Soup

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    We can all agree that a doctor's waiting room is no place we really want to be at, but no matter why you're there, you might find yourself perusing the assorted magazines left lying about for your reading pleasure.  On one such occasion, I was looking through an issue of Family Circle magazine and came across a recipe for Asparagus Soup.  I found some scratch paper and wrote out the recipe while I was waiting.

This soup is a perfect lunch or dinner on one of those magical spring days with unsettled cool weather, alternating rain and sunshine.  Having a bouquet of spring flowers on your table just makes it all the better.

Here is the recipe as it appeared in the magazine, then afterwards, I will tell you what variations I use.

Asparagus Soup

1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed (reserve tips)
2 T. butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 cups chicken broth
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. dried dill
1/8 t. white or black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)

1) Cut tips from asparagus, set aside.  Cut remaining stalks into 1/2" pieces.  Melt butter in a 4 quart saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and cook 3 minutes.  Add asparagus stalks and cook an additional 2 minutes.  Add broth, potatoes, salt, dill and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  

2) Reduce heat to medium and cook 10-12 minutes, uncovered, until potatoes are done.  Meanwhile steam or saute tips.

3) Remove soup from heat and let cool.  Puree until smooth.  Stir in heavy cream.  Serve warm or chilled, garnished with tips.

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If you've never pureed soup in a blender before, it must be cooled first, otherwise you may have a big mess on your hands.  So be sure to cool the soup for about 15 minutes before putting it into the blender.  

Although the recipe calls for 3 cups of broth, I open a 1 quart container of broth and use the whole thing.  I've found that a lot of the liquid evaporates while cooking the vegetables, so extra is required.  If you don't have that much broth, you can use the water from the steamed tips, or just add plain water.  

And lastly, I substitute rice milk for the heavy cream, and vegetable oil instead of butter. 

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Do you have a favorite recipe you like to make in the spring time?  Tell me about it!  Happy cooking, and enjoy!

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