It’s that time of year when a warm bowl of something for dinner hits the spot perfectly! Now, there are lots of people who don’t like asparagus. I’m not one of them. And I can guarantee you that even if you don’t like asparagus, you will like this Cream of Asparagus Soup. When I have asparagus either from my CSA basket or catch it on sale at the store ( I haven’t started growing this in my garden as of yet), I always snap one stalk to see where the tough part starts. Then I lay out the rest of the stalks and cut off the ends at the same spot. The tips I steam and eat as is as a side dish or cut up to use in a pasta salad. The hard stalk is what I use to make this soup.
The next part can be a bit of a production. Just so you understand, what is pictured is 12 lbs of asparagus that was done at one time. I wouldn’t go to this much trouble for just a couple of bowls of soup. If you don’t purchase this much asparagus at once, that’s OK. You can save the tough ends in a freezer bag, which I also do sometimes. When you get a good quart sized bag stuffed full of ends, then make this recipe on a smaller scale. Results are the same and just as delicious!
All the stalks from the 12 lbs of asparagus were enough to fill two large pots. I had homemade stock on hand that was made with leftover chicken bones of a chicken I had roasted and vegetable trimmings that were left after I prepped all my onions, carrots, peppers, celery, sliced tomatoes, and other miscellaneous produce from a huge produce stock up purchase. I added two quarts of stock to each pot then two quarts of water to each pot.
After I cooked the stalks for a few hours, I turned off the pots then got my area ready. When liquid has cooled considerably, I drain out the stalks. Using my cutting board and the backside of my longest chef’s knife, I hold the large end of each softened stalk and press the dull side of knife down onto stalk and push away from my body. This will push out the soft flesh inside the hard stalk and is what will make up the body of the soup. Plus, what you think is the tough stalk sometimes will soften so much that it will also push away from with the flesh and once it’s run through the blender will become creamy deliciousness, too. I collect all this soft, pulpy flesh in a pot with the stock. Once I finish this step I run the soup through the blender to get a creamy, smooth consistency.
Now the hardest part of the stalk that the knife didn’t take care of, I add to some stock in the blender and run it through as well. Then this mixture I put through a mesh strainer. Trust me, you will get even more pulp/flesh from that tough stalk when you add this step. I know it seems like a lot of steps. And I have definitely ‘beat that horse to death’ so to speak with all the ways I can think of to get MORE out of this tough end piece of asparagus stalk. But, what’s left is about four quarts of the most delicious cream of asparagus soup you will ever eat!
What’s your favorite hot bowl of soup?