My Mister & I have been busy planning our garden. There are a few foods that we have never tried growing ourselves. One is asparagus.
I'm pretty sure that it's because we're an impatient lot.
Asparagus cannot be harvested the year it's planted. Even the second year, it can't be heavily harvested. The third year is the jackpot year that will reward the patient gardener.
This will be year 1 for us. Because of that, we have to buy our asparagus at the farmer's market and a couple of different local farms.
May God bless our simple act of faith.
And grant us patience!
In the meantime, we will be building our asparagus recipe collection. This soup was fabulous! I found the original recipe in my "Simply in Season" cookbook, but of course, couldn't leave well enough alone and had to "tweak" it a little. I hope you enjoy it!
Cheesy Asparagus Soup
2 lbs. fresh asparagus
4 cups vegetable broth
2 medium thin-skinned potatoes, diced (can use new potatoes)
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 cups half & half (or 2 cups cream and 2 cups whole milk)
4 Tb. flour
salt & pepper, to taste
1-1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
Cut off asparagus tips and blanch until just tender. (Drop in boiling water for 3 minutes, then remove and drop in ice water.) Set the tips aside. You can substitute the asparagus water for the broth if you wish. I used the water and added an organic vegetable bouillon. Chop the asparagus spears, and add to the soup pot along with the broth, potatoes, onion and celery. Cook until asparagus is soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Puree until smooth. Return to pot.
Add half & half (temper it first!), flour and salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens slightly.
Just before serving, add cheese, stirring into soup until well blended.
Ladle soup into bowls and place a dollop of yogurt on top. Using a butter knife, lightly cut the knife through the yogurt a couple of times. Add a few asparagus tips to the top.