Thursday, April 16, 2020

Springtime Asparagus Soup.

 I have lovely asparagus coming up in my garden nowand I'm thinking up all sorts of asparagus-based recipes.  This creamy asparagus soup with sautéed mushrooms and Parmesan crispsmakes for a perfect spring lunch.

First I made the Parmesan rounds.
Grate small mounds (heaping tablespoon)  of Parmesan cheese onto parchment paper.
Gently press flat - 1/8 - 1/4 inch thickness.
Give each round a few grinds of pepper.
Bake in a 300° oven for about 15 minutes.

Golden perfection.
Let cool.

Now, on to the soup.

Rosie’s Asparagus Soup
1 TB unsalted butter
8 oz. asparagus (about 12 spears), chopped
3-4 mushrooms, sliced
½ onion, finely chopped (about ¼ cup)
1 TB unsalted butter
2 TB flour
2 cups vegetable broth
¼ cup heavy cream
2 TB chopped parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Frozen peas (optional)
Scallion, sliced
Lemon zest
More chopped parsley

In a medium pot, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat.  Add chopped asparagus, sliced mushrooms, and chopped onion.  Sauté 3-4 minutes, until onion is translucent.  Remove mushrooms and just the asparagus tips and set aside for later.

Add in second tablespoon of butter and sprinkle in flour, stirring for a minute to cook the flour.  Slowly pour in vegetable broth, stirring to thicken.  (You can substitute chicken stock if that’s what you have on hand.)  Reduce heat and cook at bare simmer, about 5 minutes, until asparagus is tender.  Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped parsley.

To purée the soup, I use an immersion blender as opposed to a countertop blender.  There’s no easier way to get that creamy, luxurious texture than by immersion blending.  The bladed wand goes directly into the pot with the soup mixture and you don’t have to ladle out the liquid contents into a blender jar and splash hot liquid all over the place or have steam blow the lid off.  Another plus for immersion blending is that it saves on cleanup too – you don’t have another container to wash, just detach the wand and give it a quick clean up.   Simply insert your immersion blender in the pot and blend away, moving the blender up and down and keeping it submerged until your mixture is smooth and consistent.

Stir in the cream, then taste-test, adding kosher salt and freshly ground pepper as needed.  If you like, add in a half cup or so of frozen (not canned) peas and let heat through before serving.

Ladle soup into bowls and top with reserved asparagus tips and sliced mushrooms, along with sliced scallions, chopped parsley, and a grating of lemon zest for a bright tang.  Welcome accompaniments include crunchy croutons or crisp Parmesan rounds.



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