The first day of Spring has come and gone on the East Coast. Winter is still hanging around like a holiday houseguest overstaying his welcome. I am ready to move on to the warmer weather and new flavors of Spring – no more squash please. But the weather is still delivering it’s winter chill. What to do?
I stopped by my parent’s house this weekend and my dad happened to be making a fresh batch of exactly what I didn’t know I was craving – asparagus soup! I was so inspired by possibilities of this soup, along with it being budget-friendly, easy-to-make and healthy, that I stopped by the store on my way home to pick up a few ingredients I needed to make my own at home.
Originally from The Advanced Plan diet, this receipe involves only a few ingredients and won’t take an afternoon to make. I will admit, the flavor isn’t super EXCITING, but I love it because it’s a good base upon which to build. Also, when blended together it’s deceivingly creamy, even though there is no dairy.
Creamy Asparagus Soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
- 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 2 1/2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne*
- sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth or water
1) Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. After a minute, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
2) Put the cauliflower and asparagus into the pot, add the cayenne pepper and season to taste with salt and black pepper (I’d recommend seasoning at the end of this recipe). Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
3) Pour in the broth and bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the cauliflower is fully cooked, 5-8 minutes.
4) Carefully transfer the soup to a blender and blend on high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. (Or use a handheld immersion blender to pureé the soup directly in the pot.) Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and black pepper if needed. The soup should be thick but still light. If it is too thick, thin it with a little more broth or water. Any leftover soup can be stored in refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
*Note: the spice it calls for could be a bit much for some, so I’d suggest starting small (max 1/8 tsp) and increasing to taste. If you’re serving to kids, you may want to hold off on the spice all together and season your individual serving.
Here are a few alternate or add-on ideas for the recipe:
- Serve with a grilled cheese sandwich – it has enough thickness to scoop with a sandwich
- Cut down on the liquid and make a healthy baby food puree
- Add seasoned, shredded chicken or a salty ham cubes
- Hollow out a bread bowl and enjoy the creamy, carby goodness
- When the weather starts to warm up, serve chilled as a light Spring appetizer
- Add more cauliflower and take out one of the asparagus bunches to change up the flavor
Along with my favorite Le Creuset French Oven, my other kitchen staple is the Dualit Immersion Blender. I use this beauty at least 2-3 times per week along with the Accessories Kit. Using an immersion blender is really the best way to make soup quickly and easily. Transferring to a blender adds at least 15 minutes.
Looking to pair this with wine? Asparagus is a particularly difficult vegetable. Go for a lighter white – unoaked – a Sancerre, a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (which already has some of the same grassy flavors as asparagus) or a dry Alsacian Riesling.
Have other ideas on how to dress up this soup? Leave me a comment below.