Thursday, April 29, 2010

Creamy Asparagus Soup with Parmigiano Reggiano

If you are looking for a new ideas for asparagus, here is a great recipe for creamy asparagus soup.  The creaminess is the result of a puree, rather than a roux and heavy cream so it is light and healthy as well as tasty!  This is a great lunch or starter and freezes well if you don't get through all of it.  If you have zucchini or yellow squash lying around, dicing it and adding it in works really well, too.

 Creamy Asparagus Soup with Parmigiano Reggiano

¼ cup unsalted butter
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
4 or 5 cups washed and roughly chopped asparagus (2 or 3 bundles)
2 cups peeled diced potato
2 T dried basil
1 t sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper to taste
6 cups vegetable broth
1 can cannellini beans, drained
1 cup crème fraiche or plain yogurt (creme fraiche is better!)
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice

Melt butter in a large pot.  Add onion, garlic, celery, asparagus, potato, dried basil, and sea salt and pepper.

Cook until vegetables begin to soften and stir occasionally, 10-15 minutes.

Add broth and beans.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer 20-30 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool a bit.

Add yogurt or crème fraiche.  Puree in batches until very smooth.  Taste and season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.  Stir in freshly grated parmigiano reggiano just before serving. 

If you like to garnish, add a dot of creme fraiche to the top and maybe some pink peppercorns!


Unknown said...

yum! I've made a version of this from a "healthy cooking" cookbook that has way fewer ingredients. This one sounds much more hearty. I usually use a dallop of sour cream, but as I leaned last weekend, I'm sure creme fraiche is much better!

Catherine Barker Hoffman said...

Ha, yes we now know creme fraiche is the shizzle, but sc totally would work, too. This does look like a lot of ingredients, but you can always sub some chopped zucchini/yellow squash/peas/spinach for some of the celery. As long as it's green or white! Also, you can omit or sub the dried basil (maybe dill or tarragon?!?!) Let me know if you experiment and come up with something exciting!