Hey, friends, hopefully by this point in April you are starting to enjoy some warmer weather where you live. Trees are starting to bud; grass is getting greener.
And the produce in your stores is beginning to expand with colors and flavors. Fresh fruit is returning!
One of my favorite vegetables that I look forward to in the spring is asparagus.
My mom is going to flip bananas when she reads that statement. The thing is, until a few years ago I absolutely hated asparagus. I loathed the stuff.
When I was growing up my parents would make asparagus any chance they got. Every time, my mom would kindly ask me if I would try a bite to see if it had somehow grown on me since the last time she made it.
I would always give in and take the teensiest, tiniest bite of the evil stuff and promptly wash it down with a big glass of water, disgusted as usual.
“I don’t understand, you loved asparagus when you were little, you couldn’t get enough of it,” my mom would say right on cue.
“Yeah, well I don’t remember EVER liking asparagus. It’s so GROSS!” I would reply in my most angry, snotty teenage voice.
This drama was replayed every spring until I moved out.
My poor mom, all she was trying to do was make sure I ate healthy foods growing up. She tried to cook asparagus all sorts of different ways. She would drown the stuff in fattening buttery sauces trying to get me to like asparagus. I would usually spoon off as much of the sauce as I could and eat it, leaving the asparagus behind.
It wasn’t until about 4 or 5 years ago that I began to like asparagus. I was going through a family-cooked buffet line at one of Paul’s family gatherings, piling my plate with food, when I approached a dish full of asparagus.
The asparagus was wrapped in bacon. Hmmm, it had been a while since I tried asparagus…and there’s bacon. I grabbed the smallest bunch I could find and added it to my plate. I took one tiny bite along with a mouthful of bacon and it was actually pretty good.
I didn’t have to wash it down with a glass of water!
Leave it to bacon to change my thoughts about asparagus.
Since then I have been experimenting with asparagus and it has become one of my favorite vegetables. Funny how your taste buds can mature.
Moral of the story, kids, always give foods that you don’t like a second chance every now and then. You might be surprised.
Now that you know how much I used to despise asparagus even though I love it now, let’s talk about this creamy asparagus soup, shall we?
This soup is so easy to make and consists of simple ingredients: primarily asparagus, duh!
There is no cream or milk added to the soup; the pureed asparagus does the trick.
It is the perfect soup to enjoy during the chilly days of spring that still may occur, especially for those rainy, stormy days.
What I love about this soup is that it is also delicious eaten lukewarm; therefore it is also great enjoyed on a warmer, sunnier day.
Now lies the most important question of all: What does it taste like?
With a hint of lemon
Thick and creamy
This creamy asparagus soup is perfect as a side soup or an appetizer to any meal. There is no need to make a salad; you’ve already got plenty of veggies in your soup!
- 2 bunches of asparagus (about 2 pounds), washed and dried
- 1 yellow onion, cut into wedges and layers separated
- 2 tablespoons grape seed oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil*
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare the asparagus by snapping off each end where it naturally breaks. Discard the woody, tough ends; we don’t want that in our soup. Snap the remainder of the asparagus into 1 inch pieces. Place them onto a large rimmed baking sheet along with the onion wedges.
- Add the grapeseed oil, sea salt and pepper and toss the veggies with your hands until they are well coated with the oil and seasonings. Spread the veggies evenly onto the baking sheet. They can be snug but not on top of each other; otherwise they will steam. Separate them onto two separate baking sheets if needed.
- Roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping the asparagus halfway through to ensure even cooking. The asparagus should be slightly charred and tender, but not overcooked and mushy. Once they are done cooking pull the veggies out of the oven and set aside.
- Heat up a medium-sized stock pot on medium-low heat and melt the butter. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant and slightly browned. Do not allow the garlic to burn. Once the garlic is done sautéing, immediately add in the vegetable stock and turn the heat up to high.
- Add the asparagus and onion mixture. Reserve a few tips of the asparagus for garnish, if desired. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the large asparagus pieces are tender enough to be smashed against the wall of the pot with a wooden spoon.
- Once the asparagus is tender remove the pot from the heat. Using an immersion blender puree the soup until thoroughly smooth.
- Alternately, you can transfer the soup to a blender, pureeing in batches if needed. Make sure that you only fill the blender half full. Leave the lid askew and cover with a kitchen towel to prevent any splashing. These precautions help to prevent the lid from blowing off when the air in the blender expands after being sucked down by the blades and heated by the hot liquid. Puree until smooth and return to the stock pot.
- Turn the heat back on to medium-low. Stir in the freshly grated Parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Add sea salt and pepper to taste, very gradually. The veggies were well seasoned before roasting them, so you may not need to add much salt. I added plenty of black pepper!
- Once the soup is heated through serve immediately and garnish with the reserved asparagus tips and black pepper, if desired. This soup is perfect served as an appetizer or side soup to any meal.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days.