I’m obsessed with asparagus. It’s the perfect vegetable – easy to clean and trim with so many different ways to prepare it that I often have trouble deciding. I’ll admit that I most commonly toss it with olive oil & kosher salt, give it a quick roast and garnish with fresh lemon zest; it’s just easy and plain delicious. Sugar-grilled is a springtime fave (yes, that recipe is coming soon) and tossed in stir-frys, salads or any kind of egg are always winners. But this soup – this soup!! – is worth every bit of extra effort.
This asparagus soup recipe comes from my new favorite book, “The Complete Kitchen Garden”. I’ll admit to not being very talented in the gardening arena (I actually have a brown thumb, but it used to be black so it’s a marked improvement) but I always have a small garden each year. The problem is that I pretty much just buy the small plants that look good, toss ’em in the dirt and cross my fingers. Most survive and some even produce, but if I went in with a game plan I’m pretty sure my success rate would improve significantly.
So I was thrilled when I was sent a copy of “The Complete Kitchen Garden”. I would like to have a garden that fits my personality (without having to spend countless hours researching to decide what would work best) and I found that this book is simply perfect. It’s the perfect mixture of cookbook and gardening instruction, giving just enough knowledge that I feel armed and ready to start my perfect garden.
There are fourteen different kitchen gardens to choose from, from a salad lover’s to a patio to culinary herb, although I ultimately chose the chef’s garden (yeah, sort of a no-brainer there). Each garden in the book has ten tips for growing that particular garden along with layouts and recipes. Speaking of recipes, I love that each recipe seems well thought out and hand-picked; I’d been afraid that the recipes would be more of an afterthought vs. a significant part of the book, but I was happily wrong! This asparagus soup recipe proves it; simple and elegant and perfect for spring, I knew it was the one I wanted to share with you.
One more quick thing before we get to the recipe. Leave a comment below (please…don’t forget your email address) and you’ll be automatically entered to win a copy of this fab book! If you’d like extra entries you can either share this link with your Facebook friends (make sure to “@” the wicked noodle so I see your extra entry) and/or send a tweet linking to this page (again, don’t forget to “@” me)!
And now…on to the recipe!
Cheers and Happy Spring!
The first tender spears of asparagus are best enjoyed fresh and whole from the garden, but as the season progresses, the stalks get larger, and the crop more abundant, this is an excellent soup to prepare. Its light, lemony flavors blended with a hint of curry are delicious served warm or chilled, and topped with crème fraiche. Serves 4 to 6
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup (8-ounce can) coconut milk
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- Dash salt
- 12 to 18 asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch lengths (2 cups)
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 4 medium red-skinned potatoes, peeled
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon and cut into 1/2-inch dice (2 cups)
- 1 cup crème fraiche
- Scallions or chives, finely chopped, to taste
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1) In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter and oil. Add the onion and salt and sauté stirring often, until the onion is golden, about 5 minutes.
2) Stir in the curry powder, ginger, and half of the lemon zest and juice. Then add the potatoes and simmer, stirring occasionally, to blend the flavors, about 5 minutes.
3) Slowly add the broth, coconut milk, and asparagus and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover partially and continue to cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
4) With an immersion blender, or in a food processor, puree the mixture until smooth. In a small bowl, blend the crème fraiche, remaining lemon zest and juice, scallions or chives, and salt and pepper.
5) Serve the soup warm, garnished with a swirl of the seasoned crème fraiche.