One of the first vegetables to come into season here in Minnesota is asparagus! Bright and vegetal, asparagus is surprisingly versatile and can be grilled, roasted, sauteed, or eaten raw. Shave it in a salad, put it in a quiche, or use it in a weeknight pasta dish. One of our favorite preparations is to make it into creamy soup - cream optional!
When we made this recipe, we planned to add cream for richness (cream makes everything better, right?), but after pureeing it well, it was so smooth and velvety with a lovely spring flavor, we decided to leave it out!
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 bunch of asparagus (about one pound)
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 large yellow onion, coarsly chopped
- 1 tsp dried thyme (or 1 tbsp fresh)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: 1/2 cup cream*
1. Prepare asparagus by snapping off the woody ends. Cut off asparagus tips about 1 1/2 inch from the top and reserve for garnish along with a few chopped onions. Chop remaining asparagus into 1/2 inch pieces.
2. In a medium pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and sautee until it begins to soften. Add chopped asparagus, thyme, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook five minutes, then add broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until asparagus is quite tender, about 20 minutes. Cooking time will vary by the thickness and freshness of asparagus, so taste one to see.
3. While soup is cooking, blanch asparagus tips in salted water for 2-3 minutes until tender. Kitchen hack: If you are pressed for time (or are like us and don't want to wash more pots!), put the tips in a cup of salted water and microwave for 2-3 minutes for the same result.
4. Puree soup using an immersion blender, or in batches in a blender. Blend on high for a few extra minutes for bonus creaminess. Be careful blending hot liquid! Return to pot and stir in cream if using. Adjust the consistency to your taste using additional broth, water, or cream. Garnish with asparagus tips and reserved onions, and a swirl of cream if using.
*While we made it without any dairy, we imagine this recipe would be delicous made with whole milk, crème fraîche, or even garnished with a little yogurt.