7 April 2012

Green Asparagus Soup to Rush in the Season

Green Asparagus Soup
For weeks Spring has been fleeting, one day we raise our faces skyward to feel the warmth of the sun on our heat-seeking faces and the next day we are wrapping our warm woolly scarves tighter than ever to ward off the wintery blasts. Well I for one say...ENOUGH ALREADY. Sorry for shouting:D Not that the weather ever deters me from my plans.

Spring is a time of renewal, when we find ourselves longing to shed all the layers of a dreary winter. I long to curl my toes in the sand on my favourite local beach or sit on the patio with a cooling drink. The days are longer and the markets begin to burst with the colours of the bountiful fruits and vegetables of the season. Spring is when everything seems to come alive in and out of the kitchen. It is late coming to the Okanagan but our local farmers market opens today!! 

This is the time to enjoy fresh rhubarb, sweet garden peas and furled fiddleheads foraged from the forest floor. It is the season for asparagus and escarole and a wide variety of lettuce handplucked from the garden for crispy salads. The delightful fragrance of chives, mint, chervil and tarragon fill the air to season our dishes. All of these tastes of Spring are bursting from our gardens, forests, markets and window boxes...soon....sigh.....

The first rite of passage of Spring for me is always a nice warm bowl of asparagus soup long before rhubarb crisp and strawberry shortcake grace my table. I found myself with a glut of crispy Spring asparagus so rushed to the kitchen to my cauldron (aka soup pot) to cast a spell by recreating this soul-satisfying soup in the hope of speeding the season along. I found this recipe on my friend Debbie's blog A Feast for The Eyes where it's lovely green colour and secret ingredient intrigued me. What's the secret ingredient you ask to keep its vibrant green colour? Peas. Debbie and I met a few years ago in San Francisco and I know that anything she endorses on her blog just has to be good! Let's just say I had two bowls!

**Green Asparagus Soup**
from Cooks Country

2 pounds asparagus (see note), stem ends trimmed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 small leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
salt and pepper
3-1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup frozen peas (the secret ingredient)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
COOK TIPS Cut tips off asparagus spears and chop stalks into ½-inch pieces. Melt 1½ tablespoons butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add asparagus tips and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

 SOFTEN VEGETABLES Add remaining butter and asparagus, leeks, ½ tablespoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper to empty pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes.

SIMMER SOUP Add broth to pot and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir in peas (the secret ingredient to create that vibrant green colour) and Parmesan. Puree soup in blender** in 2 batches and return to pot. **NOTE: I always use an immersion blender to puree my soups right in the pot— so much easier and less cleanup.

Stir in cream, lemon juice, and asparagus tips, and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve. (Soup can be refrigerated in airtight container for 2 days.)

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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  1. This sounds delish! Asparagus is $1.49/pound this week so it's asparagus week at my house! Love asparagus soup!

  2. Very nice Val. I just finishing making asparagus soup for tomorrow which I'm going to serve chilled. I used a Bon Appetit recipe that didn't call for cream or butter. Just olive oil. It came very good.

  3. The weather has been equally confused here

  4. Surely delightful! Green asparagus taste divine.



  5. What a unique delcious recipe Buona Pasqua~

  6. Look delicious Val I love, really love asparagaus! Happy Easter dear!

  7. This is a wonderful way to usher in the spring season.

  8. Lately all I want to eat is asparagus! This soup might just satisfy my cravings once and for all!

  9. Mmm - I love asparagus soup.ourseasons looked to be rushing forward too...and then we got snow! But now I've seen this I've got a hankering for a taste of spring!

  10. Sounds wonderful! The perfect harbinger of Spring!

    Happy Easter!

  11. I haven't had any asparagus yet. Must go hunt some down though. Love the soup it is always such a treat.

  12. Gosh, that looks wonderful, Val. Nifty trick to use peas to get the color just right.
    Happy Easter to you!

  13. Your soup is perfect for bridging the seasons. It sounds delicious and I love asparagus. Have a wonderful holiday, Val.

  14. Spring-green soup...a beauty, Val. Happy Easter!

  15. Blessed Easter. Val! Thank you for the link love. I'm so glad that you liked this soup. I have plenty of asparagus on hand, so this soup will become a weeknight dinner. I have to wait until May 1st for our local, organic, strawberries to be in season. At least our tomatoes are planted. I can't wait! What I love best about this time of year, is the locally grow produce that's on my way home from work. I see lots of grilled veggies for meals.

  16. Simply beautiful!
    Bet it tasted great.
    Wishing you and your family a lovely Easter Val!

  17. You guys are really getting some winter blast;wow! I never knew about adding peas to Asparagus Soup; love it.
    Happy Easter to you and your family Val.

  18. Asparagus soup is one of my favorites... it looks wonderful.

  19. I'm enjoying our early asparagus as well! Your soup is gorgeously green, and is perfect for the chilly spring days we've been having. I love the secret ingredient! :)

  20. I found asparagus @99 cents/pound. Not locally grown, but I was anxious for a spring taste. This looks just wonderful.

  21. Hi there, this is a really nice post about asparagus. It would be great if you linked to it in my Food on Friday series. This week it is about all things asparagus. Food on Friday


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