Asparagus and Spring Pea Soup

IMG_3394.jpgI’m going crazy with the asparagus this year. My step dad is giving us a ton that he’s growing out on Sauvie Island and it’s been only $1.99 a bunch in stores lately. I’m used to San Francisco where asparagus is usually $6.99 a bunch, minimum, so it’s so exciting to see it for such a low price. We’ve been eating it several times a week. I also have a few fresh peas and snap peas from my garden so I added those for extra sweetness

It’s been sweltering here so I was super craving a cold soup. This is adapted from Deborah Madison’s in her Vegetable Soups book. I changed it quite a bit but got the basic steps from hers.

Here’s what I used:

  • 5 cups water
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 2 small inner celery stalks
  • 1 small potato
  • 1 handful of freshly shelled peas ( or frozen)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Small bunch of fresh parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Small bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 m TSP peppercorns
  • 2 fresh snap peas
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • White pepper to taste
  • 2 T butter
  • Cream to taste ( optional)
  • Zest of one lemon plus a squeeze of lemon juice

To serve:

  • Sour cream ( yogurt or creme fraiche would also be good)
  • Croutons

Trim the ends and leaves off the celery stalks.
Peel the potato and carrot.
Snap the tough ends off of asparagus. Cut tips of the asparagus off  and set aside for garnish.
Peel the middle part of the asparagus.

For the Stock:
Put 5 cups of water in a stockpot.
Add the carrot peels and ends, potato peels, celery tops, asparagus peels and toiugh bottoms, 4 whole cloves of garlic, a chunk of onion, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, turn down to low and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes.

For the Soup:
While stock is simmering, dice carrots, celery, onion and potato finely. Sauté in olive oil till soft. Add chopped asparagus &  peas, turn off heat and set aside.

Slice snap peas and cook with asparagus tips in salted water until tender. Plunge into ice water bath and set aside.

When stock is ready, strain into pot with diced veggies. Bring to a boil and simmer until veggies are tender. Remove from heat.

Use immersion blender to purée till smooth.
Add salt, white pepper and black pepper to taste. Pour in a little cream and an stir to combine. Finish with a cold knob of butter.

Right before serving, stir in sour cream, lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon.

Serve either warm or chilled, topped with asparagus tips, snap peas and croutons.

P.S.You could make this vegan by just omitting the butter, cream and sour cream. It was already good before I added the dairy so it would be fine without it.


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