I have a tendency to cook certain ingredients the same way every time because I love how they turn out.
Call me a creature of habit. I won’t be offended. In fact, I might be flattered!
One the best things about blogging is that it keeps me from getting stuck in a routine. It pretty much forces me to do different things all the time.
Yes, those cooking experiments have resulted in culinary disasters, but the moment I discover a new dish or master a technique, I am reminded that those failures are completely worth it.
I like to take chances seasonally. Spring brings with it so many wonderful green vegetables.
Asparagus is what really makes my heart flutter. Part of it is because I am desperate for fresh veggies after a long winter.
Most of the time I default to tossing asparagus spears in olive oil, salt and pepper and throwing it on the grill.
With this first bunch of the season, I decided to break from my usual method. It was about time that I tried to expand my asparagus repertoire.
I ended up making chilled asparagus soup. We are still in that time of year when warm soups are appropriate, but I am trying to push ahead a bit.
I sautéed sliced white onions in olive oil until they became soft and translucent.
Then I added the asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch pieces. It didn’t take long for those stalks to turn a vibrant shade of green.
After that I poured in the stock and let the mixture simmer until the asparagus was tender.
I stirred in baby spinach and that wilted in a couple minutes.
Then it was time to puree everything in the blender. I poured the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove any stubborn stringy pieces of asparagus.
My patience was tested as I waited for the soup to cool to room temperature and then chill in the fridge.
Each spoonful tasted like early spring.
Chilled Asparagus Soup
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 22-27 minutes
- Total Time: 27-32 minutes + chilling
- Yield: Serves 4 1x
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
1-1/2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for serving
1/4 teaspoon black pepper plus more for serving
2 cups vegetable stock
4 ounces fresh baby spinach
Minced chives and fresh parsley for serving
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onions until they are completely soft and translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Add the asparagus, salt and pepper and continue cooking until the stalks turn bright green, about 4-5 minutes. (Reserve about 1/4 cup asparagus to garnish the soup.
Increase the heat and add the stock. Once the stock is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer until the asparagus is tender, about 8-10 minutes. Then add the spinach stirring until it has wilted, about 2 minutes. Allow the soup to slightly cool.
In batches, transfer the soup to a blender to puree. Strain the soup in a fine mesh sieve. Cool to room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator before serving.
Top each bowl with the reserved asparagus, salt, pepper, chives and parsley.
Adapted from Bon Appetit April 2012