April 21, 2011
I have never made asparagus soup before. But when I picked up this cookbook I quickly realized that this was the recipe to make. Spring is asparagus season and remember when you cook with items in season, the prices tend to be lower. I remember growing up and my mom had a garden bed that was all full of fresh asparagus. I knew when spring had arrived when the asparagus started poking out of the ground.
The Lee brothers are Southern boys with a love for Southern cooking. But what they do is take the Southern ingredients and only give us the fresh parts of it. You will not find smothered and deep-fried dishes here. You will find fresh seafood and produce at every turn of the page. I really had a hard time finding a recipe that I could make simply from the standpoint of many of the dishes that I wanted to make called for fresh local seafood that living in the upper midwest, I do not have access to. Even some of the produce I was not able to find. For example, the recipe for Pork Tenderloins with Maderia and Fig Gravy sounds scrumptious but alas no fresh figs. Fun tour of fresh Southern ingredients will be found in this cookbook.
The Ruling: Lovely tasting soup. Wow was it full of flavor. The toasted asparagus on top was a nice treat. I could have passed on the prosciutto as the asparagus was so good all on its own. Youngest child did have a couple of spoonfuls and did not gag on it.
Creamy Asparagus Soup with Grilled Asparagus, page 115
- 3 pounds asparagus
- 1 quart vegetable broth, homemade or store-bought
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 teaspoons grape seed, canola, or other vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or whole or low fat buttermilk, or to taste
- 1 to 2 ounces thinly sliced country ham, or prosciutto cut into strips
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- trim any woody parts from the stem ends of the asparagus. Cut the tops from the asparagus about 2 inches down from the tip, and reserve. Cut the spears crosswise into pieces about 1/4 inch long.
- Bring the vegetable broth and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt to a simmer in a 4 to 6 quart pot, and add the chopped asparagus spears and onion. Add all but 24 of the asparagus tops to the pot, too. Simmer until the asparagus spears are tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
- While the broth and the veggies simmer, pour the oil into a cast-iron skillet or saute pan and heat it over high heat, tilting the pan occasionally so the oil coats the bottom thinly and evenly. When the oil begins to smoke, add the reserved asparagus tops, and scatter the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt over them. Cook, stirring only every 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, until the asparagus tops are browned in places, about 6 minutes. Remove them for the heat.
- Transfer the broth and vegetables to a blender (in batches, if necessary), and liquefy. Return the soup to the pot, add the heavy cream, and heat to a simmer. Serve immediately in bowls, garnished with the skillet-grilled asparagus tops, strips of country ham, and fresh ground black pepper. (Covered, the soup will keep in the refrigerator for about 3 days.)
To Joyful, Simplified Living,
MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity. She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com . Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page here.
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