Puree of Asparagus Soup

@dhouston (417)
United States
January 23, 2007 12:43am CST
Asparagus is an unusual vegetable in that it is a perennial plant rather than an annual like most vegetables. Plant it in your garden, cut it in spring when it is tender, and it will grow year after year. Generally, asparagus is green, although sometimes you see purple-tinged asparagus. As with most vegetables, its green color comes from photosynthesis during interaction with the sun. Europeans have developed white asparagus. It is green asparagus that is buried in sand during its growth so that no photosynthesis can occur. It is only uncovered when it is cut to prevent any greening from photosynthesis from occurring. White apsaragus has a more delicate flavor than its green siblings and, as a result of lack of sunshine, has fewer vitamins. When we eat locally and eat the seasons, we enjoy asparagus in spring. However, on Saturday when I went to the Reading Terminal Market with my niece, we found both white and green asparagus for only $0.99 a bunch--both kinds--at OK Lee's stall! The tag on the bundles indicated that it came from Peru. Part of me thought of the huge carbon footprint such importation leaves on the earth, but the other part could not resist. My niece wanted some for dinner, too, so I got a bunch of each. To go with our dinner that included dry sea scallops sauteed in butter and sauced with freshly squeezed lemon juice and some sauteed oyster mushrooms, we steamed some of each color and made a batch of hollandaise sauce from scratch to enjoy with the asparagus. Leftover hollandaise found its way into the refrigerator afterwards despite our valiant efforts. Tip: The best way to be sure you are cooking the edible part of the asparaus is to grasp the bottom between thumb and forefinger and a little higher up wth the other hand. Break at its natural breaking point. Tip: Do not discard the broken off wowody (and inedible) bottoms. Simmer separately in just enough water to cover until very tender. Strain through a fine-mesh seive and press hard on the solids then discard them. Freeze the resulting broth to use in the future when you want to add asparagus flavor to something, or to poach another batch of asparagus. Yesterday I used more of the asparagus to make a lovely pureed soup. Herewith the recipe. 1 cup/250ml chicken broth 1 bunch asparagus, cut up, tips cut prettily 1 cup/250ml chicken broth--additional Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Freshly squeezed lemon juice Hollandaise sauce, optional Cook the asparagus in the first cup/250ml broth until tender. Remove the tips you want to use as garnish before they get mushy and reserve them. Pour the mixture into a blender or food processor and puree. Return to the pot and add the other cupful/250ml broth. Heat. Remove from heat and add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Serve in shallow soup plates with the reserved tips floated in the soup for garnish. Add dollops of hollandaise sauce if desired.
3 people like this
3 responses
@villageanne (8554)
• United States
23 Jan 07
We rasise our own asparagas and we love it. These are great tips. I am amazed at how few people know much about asparagas. They purchase it in a can instead of fresh and just heat it up. Fresh is so much better.
2 people like this
@dhouston (417)
• United States
17 Feb 07
*Much* better! But then, that is true of all fruits and vegetables, isn't it?
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Mar 07
I have not heard anything from you for awhile. Are you ok???
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
23 Jan 07
Thanks so much for this recipe. We grow asparagus and it does quite well and as you know a new recipe is always welcome for asparagus. We have rhubarb too! Anyway, This is longish however it is quite easy once you do this recipe. The hollandaise that you mention would be a good one to share since when I have done it somehow it has not come out really nice. Thanks again for this recipe. Oh, have you had white asparagus?
2 people like this
@dhouston (417)
• United States
23 Jan 07
Reread paragraph 4! I'll soon post on hollandaise sauce, complete with tips. Keep your eyes open. :-)
1 person likes this
@dhouston (417)
• United States
17 Feb 07
Yes, I've hd white asparagus. It is the same plant as gfreen. They make it whilte by piling soil around the plant all the way to the tips so it doesn't get drect sunlight. The green is from chlorophyll produced whewn a plant has direct sunlight. The flavor of white asparagus (and other similarly whitened pkants, such as celery) is more delicate. It also has fewer vitamins.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Feb 07
My husband is from Holland and was so excited when he returned from the grocery store with white asparagus. It was good, yes a little lighter in flavor than the green asparagus. But, for my money, I will stick with the green asparagus. I would love to grow a patch. There is a good area in my back yard that would fit the ticket. I am sure I can find some roots at a local greenhouse, if not I could purchase them from one of the various seed companies that sell them. Although my husband would not care for the soup, I know if I made it for my mother she would enjoy it. Thank you for the recipe.