The ancient Egyptians ate it. The Romans, too. Roman Emperor Augustus even coined a catchy phrase: “as quick as boiled asparagus!” to describe a quick action. (Apparently, those Romans really knew how to kid around, although “as quick as boiled asparagus” sounds to me more like something I would expect to come out of the mouth of Mel Brooks playing Emperor Augustus for laughs.)
The other day I was at Costco and saw a 2.25 pound bag of asparagus at a reasonable price.
Costco-sized packages of food are often too large for me to use. Does ANYONE really buy those enormous bags of potatoes they sell? But I digress. In a wild moment, I tossed the bag of asparagus into my cart not knowing what I was going to make with it. Then I got lucky and found this wonderful asparagus soup recipe.
What could be more elegant than a bowl of cream of asparagus soup? Fortunately, elegance is within easy reach with this simple soup recipe. And, if you are pressed for time, the good news is that this soup can be prepared as quick as boiled asparagus!
This is my adaptation of a recipe that appeared in Gourmet Magazine in 2001. The link to the original recipe appears at the bottom of this page.
Recipe: Cream of Asparagus Soup
2 pounds green asparagus (I used the entire 2.25 pound bag from Costco)
1 large onion (chopped)
3 T. unsalted butter
6 C. vegetable broth
1/2 C. heavy cream
1/4 t. fresh lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste, more unsalted butter to stir in at the time of serving
Chop asparagus into 1/2 inch pieces, reserving 12 asparagus tips for garnish.
Saute onion in butter in a heavy soup pot, stirring to keep it from burning. When onion is soft, stir in asparagus pieces and salt and pepper and continue to cook and stir for 5 minutes. Add broth and simmer 15-20 minutes until asparagus is tender. (I use vegetable broth powder from Mother’s Market but stores like Whole Foods and Sprouts also carry vegetable broth powder. Those stores also frequently carry a faux chicken broth powder that works just as well. I do not recommend that you use the canned vegetable broth from Trader Joe’s. I love TJ, but think their vegetable broth is too strong and overwhelms the natural flavor of the vegetables in delicate soups.)
Puree soup until it is smooth. Return pureed soup to the pan and stir in heavy cream. Add salt and pepper to taste, fresh lemon juice and more butter if you wish. Garnish with asparagus tips (boiled in water until tender). I sprinkled a bit of cayenne pepper on the soup at the time of serving. A little cayenne goes a long way, so be careful how much you sprinkle on your guests’ soup.
Here is the link to the original recipe: