Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I cuss, you cuss, we all cuss for asparagus.
Suddenly asparagus is everywhere, and rightfully so. Asparagus is delicious and easy to cook. Sure, as a child I may have called it "braided worms", but I have come around. Now I love it barbecued, broiled, steamed, or made into fantastic soups like this one.
I was at my final Master Gardeners' lecture last night (lectures from master gardeners, not for master gardeners. I've got years to go before I can claim that title) and the lecturer posed the question, do we really need asparagus available fifty two weeks a year? No. No we do not. Part of the romance of asparagus is the fact that it tastes best when in season and that season is fleeting. I have also been told that its deliciousness decreases quite quickly once it's picked, so always eat your asparagus as soon as you buy it if you want to reap the full benefits of its excellence.
And, because I did not take enough photos while making this particular soup, please enjoy this photo of four of our five pets all occupying the same bed. You're welcome.
1 bunch of asparagus
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 bay leaves
4 cups soup stock
1 tsp dill
1 tsp tarragon
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
salt and pepper to taste
Chop asparagus into 1 inch pieces. Steam these until they are bright green and slightly tender (about 3 minutes).
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until onions are tender.
Add potatoes, celery, and bay leaves, stir to combine, cover pot, and let cook for five minutes.
Add stock, dill, and tarragon. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and let simmer until all vegetables are tender. You should be able to easily mash the potato against the side of the pot with a fork.
Add aspargus and nutritional yeast. Let cook for five more minutes.
Blend soup using an immersion blender or by transferring it in batches to your blender or food processor. If soup is too think, thin it with water or unsweetened soy milk.
Season with salt and pepper.
Makes four servings.
-I'm not the only one making asparagus soup this week. Check out Haymarket8's version over at The Life.
-When you are adding celery to a pureed soup, make sure you chop up the celery into very small bits. Otherwise you will end up with stringy soup. This tip brought to you by an ex-boyfriend of mine who used to work in a kitchen. One night I made stringy soup for dinner and he quite diplomatically explained to me why it turned out that way.
-My first volunteer shift at the Hope Garden was slightly overwhelming but mostly just wildly interesting. The garden is giant and it is part of an even gianter allotment. It was so cool to see what people do with their plots and to watch the people who have been gardening there for years interact with each other. The Hope Garden plot is actually right next to the plot of the master gardener who provided last night's lecture on vegetable growing. I am excited to be in such good company.
This Time Last Year: Tomato Lentil Soup and Flatbread