I went this morning and picked up my Farmer’s Market Basket from the local co-op that I belong to. I have a “recurring order” of an Organic Large that I get every other week. Every other week is almost too often because I am always supplementing at the grocery store, but I really like this place and I want to support them, so I go every other week.
Of course when I get home with all the gorgeous produce, I have to put it all away and I inevitably find stuff that I bought and forgot about and need to use quickly or else it goes in the trash. Today, that find was asparagus.
Before you go all crazy on me I bought it on sale, so it wasn’t like I spent a fortune on it, but still, I definitely did not want to waste it. Abby and Mollie have a double today, and when I got home from all the driving this morning (had to go to the high school, the farmer’s market, the pool across the street – twice, and the pool up at the country club that the team swims at) they were sleeping on the couch. We have a neighborhood meet tonight, and I am going to make fajitas for them for that, but I decided to make soup for lunch so that they would have something healthy in them before their second 2-hour practice, and I could use up some vegetables in the fridge. Win Win in my book.
We eat a lot of soup around here. Years ago I designated Thursday nights as our soup and sandwich nights and thus cultivated a love for it in the kids. Its a small way I can make them feel good.
This is one of the ways I like to make this soup. This way has less calories because it uses a potato to help thicken it, and not as much cream. Maybe next time I make it, I’ll do it the old fashioned way, but for today, we made it veggie heavy.
Cream of Asparagus Soup
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, washed and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
(today, I also added in some yellow squash – a small piece chopped, and half of a zucchini, chopped – just because I had it)
2 bundles of asparagus, woody part cut off
2 small potatoes, peeled and chopped
Salt and Pepper
6 cups of low-salt chicken broth
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream
Heat olive oil (about 2 T?) in a heavy stock pot. Add onion, celery, carrot, garlic and all other vegetables you are adding that day (see note about squash and zucchini). Season with a little salt and pepper and cook until vegetables are soft. Add the potatoes and asparagus, toss with other vegetables. Add chicken stock, put a lid over and bring to a simmer for about 20-25 minutes until potatoes are done.
In small batches, process through a food mill*, return to pot and simmer another 10 minutes until reduced just a little. Add heavy cream, stir, check for seasoning and serve.
*The food mill: I like to use a food mill for this soup because asparagus can be a little stringy. The mouth feel on stringy soup just isn’t delicious. Promise. If you don’t have a food mill, you can use a blender to process, but you will need to strain it through a fine colander or a sieve.