Recipe for asparagus soup
Last week I made my first pilgrimage of the season to our local asparagus farm, where I can go right into the sorting room and select thin, medium or chubby asparagus, depending on what I'm planning to cook. For this soup, I went with medium spears. They were picked the morning I bought them, so apart from a slight trim at the end, they needed no peeling or other preparation. Some of the asparagus went into the freezer, for future soups with a farm-fresh flavor, and some of the cooked soup also went into the freezer. It's quite rich as is, but you can add a bit of heavy cream or Greek yogurt just before serving, to make it even more decadent. (My photography skills don't do justice to the bright green color of this soup, so you'll have to make it to see it. You will be dazzled. Trust me.)
Serves 10; recipe can be halved. Use vegetable stock or water to make this a vegetarian soup. The finished soup can be frozen.
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced
3 lbs asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tsp dried thyme
1-1/2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
Pinch of urfa pepper or red pepper flakes (optional), or to taste
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
Heavy cream or Greek yogurt (optional)
In a stock pot, heat the oil over low-medium heat. Add the onion, and cook for 2 minutes, until translucent but not browning. Add the potatoes and asparagus, stir, and cook for 2-3 minutes, just to get them started. Toss in the thyme leaves and cook for 1 minute, then add the broth. Increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft when pierced with the tip of a knife.
Remove the pot from heat, and purée with an immersion blender (or in batches, in a stand blender) until smooth. Season with a pinch of urfa pepper or red pepper flakes, if desired, and plenty of kosher salt and black pepper, to taste. Before serving, you can stir in a bit of heavy cream or Greek yogurt. I never do, but it's fine with me if you want to try it.
Serve hot, or chill for several hours (or up to 3 days) and serve cold.