Winter appears to be coming to an end here in Southern California. I like the wintertime because it breaks the monotony of all that darn sunshine we have the rest of the year. As I walked out into my yard today with my camera, and peeked around, I noticed plants and flowers starting to bud and bloom. We usually don’t have an abundance of rain, but this year there was more than usual and everything around me is so lush and green. Yes, spring is almost here and that means the season’s fresh fruits and vegetables are on their way. Soon I’ll be able to get a lot of my favorites grown locally such as artichokes, peas, radishes, cherries and strawberries. But, my all-time favorite spring vegetable is Asparagus!
I like asparagus “in” or “on” anything. I especially like to grill it on the barbecue. But even better than that is Asparagus Soup! To me, I enjoy nothing more than picking up some asparagus at the local farmer’s market and coming home to make this soup. This is my idea of springtime. It’s so fresh and full of flavor.
From Gourmet Magazine 2001
2 pounds green asparagus
1 large onion, chopped
3 tablespoons, unsalted butter
5 to 6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
Cut tips from 12 asparagus, 1 1/2 inches from top and halve tips lengthwise if thick. Reserve for garnish.
Cut stalks and all remaining asparagus into 1/2 inch pieces.
Cook onion in 2 tablespoons butter in a 4 quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring until softened. Add asparagus pieces and salt and pepper to taste, then cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Add 5 cups broth and simmer, covered, until asparagus is very tender, 20 minutes.
While soup simmers, cooked reserved asparagus tips in boiling, salted water until just tender, 3-4 minutes, then drain.
Puree soup in batches in a blender until smooth, (use caution when blending hot liquids in blender, put towel over top of blender). Place a strainer or sieve over large bowl, and strain soup into the bowl. Return soup to heavy pot. Stir in heavy cream, then add more broth to thin soup to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Bring soup to a boil and whisk in remaining tablespoon of butter. Add lemon juice.
Garnish with asparagus tips.
Soup will keep, covered and chilled, 2 days.
As a side note, I purchased these 2 ounce shot glasses at the 99 Cent Store, and I use them all the time. I ‘ve made little fruit and yogurt parfaits in them, or mini-layered desserts. I always find fun glass containers there that I can use when I’m entertaining a large group. I suggest you check it out.