Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Asparagus Soup

There have been days this spring where I think to myself that if I read another article about the bounty of the spring rhubarb and asparagus crops, the “harbingers of spring” as so many have written, I think I might start banging my head against a wall. Yes, rhubarb and asparagus are in full force in spring, and yes in the cold and short growing season in Chicago there’s not much else to talk about, but come on. Let’s talk about sweet butter lettuce and snap peas. Or sprouts and spinach! What’s going on with those crops? Why must it always be rhubarb and asparagus? I need another veggie to catapult me out of this spring rut.

And then I remember that rhubarb and asparagus are so delicate and tasty, and their seasons so short and fleeting, and I realize why so many authors and writers have devoted columns, blogs and newsletters to these vegetables. And then I read this article in the Chicago Tribune about a fresh spring asparagus soup, and I was forced to bite my tongue.

The recipe is simple, but as the article describes, it has a wonderful velvety texture. The bright green color is really pretty, too. I garnished it with a little sour cream as suggested, along with some sliced green onions. What I loved most about this soup is its bright, sparkling flavor (which is enhanced with the right amount of salt and definitely the lemon juice). Sweet, fresh flavor like this, in my experience, is really only possible to attain when using the first, most delicate spring vegetables. Like asparagus. I think I will shut up and eat my soup.


4 Responses to “Asparagus Soup”

  1. 1

    DJ B — May 28, 2009 @ 3:46 pm

    Here is another recipe for asparagus:

    Brush with olive oil
    Grill over charcoal (not gas!) until crispy at the tips
    Hope you have the right genes so you’re not holding your nose the next day

    Don’t forget to lay the stalks down at right angles to the grill wires!

  2. 2

    Leah — May 28, 2009 @ 8:42 pm

    I’m glad that someone already alluded to the asparagus plague… this almsot makes me want to go back on my vow to stop eating this vegatable causing us both anguish.

  3. 3

    mfwine — May 30, 2009 @ 1:32 pm

    One can NEVER have too much asparagus this time of year. I like to roast ’em in a hot oven on a cookie sheet lined with foil and enough olive oil to coat (5-7 minutes at 450), then sprinkle the spears with some freshly grated Parm Reggiano, grated lemon zest and black pepper.

    Question on the soup recipe: Is the potato diced?

  4. 4

    Annakate — June 3, 2009 @ 10:27 pm

    Man it's tough to read about food late at night — I'm hungry! The potato is diced, then sauteed and blended with everything else. I updated the post to reflect this (guess I forgot before). Speaking of asparagus, I had it roasted for brunch the other day with a poached egg on top. It was amazing! I've been meaning to prepare it myself at home, possibly with some roasted cherry tomatoes and freshly grated Parm. OK, seriously off to the kitchen now to get a snack. 🙂

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