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Friday, March 26, 2010

Cream of Asparagus Soup

It's asparagus time here in California. Farmer's markets and Whole Foods stores stock up on the dusky green bundles, with a few white ones or purple ones thrown in for good measure.

Asparagus is great roasted or sauteed with ricotta gnocchi or tossed into a chowder, but what about a soup that showcases asparagus on its own?

I turned to Simply Recipes for a great creamy asparagus soup. With some crusty bread, the springtime flavor of asparagus shone through despite the chilly March weather.

I'm not sure it's possible to make this soup look appetizing. You'll just have to
admire the roses instead and take my word for its deliciousness.

Cream of Asparagus Soup
Barely adapted from Simply Recipes

2 lbs asparagus
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Leaves of 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/3-1/2 cup heavy cream
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Slice asparagus into thin rounds, discarding the woody ends and reserving the tips for garnish.

Saute onion in butter over medium heat, until softened. Add in asparagus slices, plus salt and pepper. Saute, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add broth and thyme and simmer, uncovered, until asparagus is tender, about 20 minutes.

Blend soup with an immersion blender or in a normal blender in batches, being careful not to burn yourself. Add back to pan and add cream and lemon juice. Taste, adding more cream, lemon juice, salt and pepper if necessary.

Garnish with asparagus tips - the heat of the soup is enough to cook them slightly. Serve with fresh bread.

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