3.22.2010

Asparagus Soup: Last Soup of Winter or First Soup of Spring?

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I haven't made my asparagus soup for a while, October to be exact, so it was definitely time. I like this soup for two reasons, it's super quick to make, and it tastes and can look rather fancy. A nice first course for dinner parties or if you want to impress the in-laws.

Previously, I have made this soup with heavy cream, since I always have it around. This time, I didn't and I checked my recipe book and the original recipe from an old issue of Gourmet calls for milk, so I used that instead. Just make sure it's not the low-fat, milk water. You need real milk here. The soup is definitely lighter in this case, and considering it's March, that worked for the best.

I've adjusted the original recipe throughout the years to suit my taste. And I sometimes forget to add the lemon zest, and this time I did not, and it gave the soup a nice fresh flavor that tasted of Spring. Also, I use more thyme than the recipe calls for, just because I like the flavor combination of the asparagus and thyme.

Below is my version of the recipe. This soup is so easy is to make, that even if you're not looking to impress anyone, you can still make it and impress yourself. 
Creamy Asparagus Soup
2 lbs of asparagus
4 cups of chicken broth (use more or less, you basically want to cover the asparagus)
2 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs of thyme
salt and pepper
2 tbsp of butter
1/2 cup of milk (use more or less depending on how creamy you like it)
grated nutmeg to taste
1 tsp lemon zest

1) Trim, wash and cut asparagus into 1 inch pieces (reserve a couple of spears for garnish). Place in large pot with garlic, bay leaves, 5 sprigs of thyme and stock. Bring to boil and simmer for about 10 or so minutes.
2) Puree soup. Add the remaining thyme, lemon zest, nutmeg, butter, milk and seasoning, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
3) Taste and adjust seasoning, or add more butter.

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