Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fresh Asparagus Soup

Each season has its good characteristics, and its not so good ones. For spring, on a positive note: the days are longer; nature is very active and there's lots to fill your senses; you can take your wool coat and put it away for a while, and the seasonal food becomes a little "lighter". On its less favorable side: it's hard to have the right wardrobe to dress weather appropriate each day when the temps are up, down and in between; while nature is very active, so are people's allergies; and it starts to get too warm to turn on the oven.

On a bit of a tangent, I wonder if historically people have suffered from allergies to this great an extent, or if because of all the other toxins we are exposed to our bodies are less able to tolerate things like pollen.

Anyhow, when the temps do drop down, I do use that as an excuse to turn the dial on the oven up. I made another pan of roasted veggies the other day, but this time with a blend of winter and summery vegetables. To sweet and white potatoes, I added mushrooms, zucchini, asparagus and tomatoes. I liked that blend a lot. There are also lighter soups that lend themselves well to spring. I made this asparagus soup a couple of weeks ago when we had a few friends over for dinner. It's simple and a fun way to use this spring veggie. I should take this opportunity again to mention how much I adore my immersion blender.

Fresh Asparagus Soup
1 lb fresh asparagus
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup veggie broth
1 tblsp butter
2 tblsp all purpose flour
1 tspn salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups veggie broth
1 cup soy milk (I used rice milk)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tspn lemon juice
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Place asparagus and onion in a saucepan with 1/2 cup veggie broth. Bring the broth to a boil and let simmer until the vegetables are tender.
2. Blend vegetable mixture until smooth
3. Melt the butter in the pan that was used for simmering the asparagus and onions. Stir while sprinkling flour, salt and pepper into the butter. Do not let the flour brown. Allow the mixture to cook only 2 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 1/4 cups veggie broth and increase the heat. Continue stirring until the mixture comes to a boil.
4. Stir in the vegetable puree and milk into the saucepan. Whisk yogurt into the mixture, followed by lemon juice. Stir until heated through. Ladle into bowls and add grated cheese if desired.

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