I am obsessed with asparagus right now! Obsessed. I have had it 6 out of the last 7 days. Its a bit hard to resist when it is so cheap and fresh at the market. Buying locally and seasonally feels so good, not just because of the environmental benefits, but because it is so fresh. And since it is asparagus season, I am going to eat as much of it as I can!
But the crowning glory of all of this asparagus passion is this creamy soup. I have adapted it a bit from a recipe by Delia Smith.
750g of asparagus (this equals about 3 bunches)
1 pint of vegetable stock (you can also use chicken stock)
1 medium onion
1-2 cloves of garlic, diced
1 tsp of flour (the flour of your choice! gluten free flours work as well)
a knob of butter or extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
a bit of double cream or creme fraiche (optional)
a few sprigs of parsley (optional)
1. Cut up the asparagus by chopping off the white, rough ends and cutting the rest into pieces of about 2cm each. Set aside the tips of the asparagus to stir in later.
2. Dice the onion.
3. Melt the butter or oil over medium-low heat in a pot and add onions. Cook for 5-7 min, until translucent. Don’t let them get too browned.
4. Add the asparagus (without the tips) and the garlic. Saute for an additional 5 minutes.
5. Put in the teaspoon of flour and saute for a further 5 min – stirring occasionally and watching to make sure nothing is getting burnt or too browned.
6. Add the stock and a bit of salt and pepper and bring up to a simmer.
7. Once the soup is simmering (just below the boiling point), drop the heat in the pan down to low and simmer it for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
8. Take the soup off the heat to cool a bit (about 10 min).
9. Once cooled, put the soup into a blender or used a hand/immersion blender until smooth.
10. Put the asparagus tips and the blended soup back over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes, until the tips are slightly softened but still crunchy. Adjust seasonings accordingly.
11) Garnish with a dollop of creme fraiche, a drizzle of double cream, or a sprig of parsley. If you are serving this to a vegan (or are a vegan), skip the cream! It is so creamy without it, you won’t even miss it!
Asparagus love from Agatha Bakewell xxx