Sunday, April 15, 2012

Seasonal soups for those unseasonably cold days

It's Spargelzeit here in Germany! That means the white asparagus is in season and plentiful at the markets. Spargel is so popular in this part if the world, it is often referred to as "white gold" or "edible ivory".

If you like asparagus, you'll love white asparagus. It's more tender and less bitter than the green variety. I had not yet had the pleasure of trying it, so when we saw it at the market this weekend, we didn't hesitate to buy a bushel.
I really had no clue how best to eat this royal vegetable until Big R informed me that it's often used to make soup. It was a fairly nice day - we did ride our bikes to the market - but it still had that cold chill in the air and it seemed like a perfect night for a warm soup for dinner. To all my friends and family that are experiencing the most bizarre bout of winter weather in the desert in the heart if spring (snow in the Mohave desert in April????)- this one is for you!

Per usual I created my own recipe by fusing together about six or seven different recipes I found online. This was less out of creativity and more due to lack of ingredients. I'm rarely patient enough to wait for another run to the store :) Turns out you can almost always figure out a way to make what you are craving with the items in your kitchen.

Prep time was only about 30 minutes. I let it simmer for a good hour. Once little r was tucked into bed, Big R and I sat down and enjoyed our spargel soup.
It was delicious! It tasted like a potato soup without all the starchiness (or guilt) that goes along with eating it. I didn't realize that asparagus is incredibly good for you. Low in calories and sodium, and packed full of vitamins, fiber, protein, and lots if other goodies. Because of this, I tried to mend together ingredients for this soup that would keep it healthy.

In case you want to make it, and also to help me keep a record of how I made this yummy concoction, here is the recipe:

Spargel Soup for a Cold Spring Day

1 lb. White Asparagus
3 cups chicken/vegetable broth
1 bushel green onions
1/3 c. white wine
1/3 c. skim milk
Olive oil

Cut the asparagus into one inch pieces and toss into a deep soup pot. Chop up green onions, both white and green ends, and add it to the asparagus. Dash olive oil over the veggies and sauté for 5 minutes. Then add a third of the broth (or enough to just cover the veggies), and the wine. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes.

Use a food processor, blender, or immersion mixer to purée the asparagus mixture and place back in the soup pot. Stir in the remaining broth and the milk. Keep stirring until it boils. Add a dash of pepper (only a dash), and add salt to taste (I always like using garlic salt for more flavor). Let it simmer to allow the flavors to fuse into a delectable soup.

To serve, add some shredded cheese (Parmesan, cheddar, or any other of your favorite), and chopped chives. Yum!


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