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Tuesday 31 May 2016

Asparagus soup and more !

Chef Paul Rankin, remember him from 'Ready, Steady, Cook' says, "make the most of the short asparagus season with this simple yet delicious soup." ... well that's a good idea isn't it!


Serves Four
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
400g/14oz asparagus, finely chopped
500ml/18fl oz hot chicken stock (vegetarians may substitute vegetable stock)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp double (heavy) cream

1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for four minutes, until softened.
2. Add the asparagus and cook for another two minutes.
3. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and reduce the heat to simmer for 5-7 minutes, until the asparagus is cooked through.
4. Add the cream and blend with a hand blender until smooth.

More information about Asparagus:
Buyer's guide:
Asparagus is best when grown and picked fresh. Regardless of whether you’re buying thin 'sprue' asparagus or extra-large 'jumbo' spears, always choose stems that are firm and lush, rather than dry and wrinkly. Avoid any stems that are dis-coloured, scarred or turning slimy at the tips. If you're using whole spears, then make sure the buds are tightly furled. If you're making soup, though, you could also use the cheaper, loose-tipped spears you sometimes find on market stalls.

The less time it takes to get asparagus from the field to the plate, the better it will taste because the sugars in the plant start to turn to starch once it's picked. British-grown asparagus takes about 24 hours to get from plant to supermarket shelf, but it's worth checking the sell-by dates and visiting PYO farms for the freshest specimens you can find. Asparagus from outside the UK will spend longer in transport.

Despite what you may have read or heard, it's not necessary to buy an asparagus steamer, nor to bind the asparagus into a bundle and cook it upright in a pan. For the best results, wash the stems thoroughly in a sink full of cold water. Then trim the stalks and, if the lower part of the stem seems tough when sliced and eaten raw, lightly peel the bottom third of the stem. Drop loose spears into a pan of boiling water and cook until just tender. The cooking time varies according to the thickness of the stems, but ranges between 3-5 minutes. Once it's cooked, drain and pat dry on kitchen paper. If you're serving it cold, you'll get the best flavour if, rather than cooling under the cold tap, you spread the hot asparagus out to cool on some kitchen paper.

Fresh, tender asparagus can be served raw:

Use a vegetable peeler to cut thin shavings into a salad and dressing it with a lemon vinaigrette, or serve it whole with aioli for dipping. White asparagus is particularly good raw.

This information from here

From soups to quiches, however you choose to eat your asparagus, I hope you may enjoy some soon. 

All the best Jan


Bob Bushell said...

I love the soup, yum yum.

Jo said...

It's been a long soup season, hasn't it. Back to cold, wet, blowy weather today so soup would definitely be good on the menu.

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

This sounds delicious, going to pin this one. I am going to the market today, I will get some asparagus and give this one a try:)
Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Weather today is more like winter. This soup will be enjoyed very soon.

Jenny S

Debbie said...

i am going to save this for winter, as we are not having "soup weather" right now!!! but it looks amazing and i love asparagus!!!!

eileeninmd said...

Hello, I love almost any kind of soup, this looks delicious. Thanks for sharing.
Have a happy day and week ahead!

Sandra Cox said...

Jan, this sounds wonderful.

Lisa said...

Soup and crusty bread, a match made in heaven. They were talking about asparagus on the radio this morning.
Lisa x

Draffin Bears said...

Dear Jan,

Asparagus soup is one of my favourites and you can't beat it with some crusty bread.
Yours looks delicious. It is soup season here now that the weather is getting cooler.
Have a happy week

Snowbird said...

Oh, I want this right now, how scrumptious it looks. Thanks for the recipe, I can't wait to try it!xxx

DeniseinVA said...

Hi Jan, thank you for this recipe. I have been looking for different ways to use asparagus. This is just what I would like.

sage said...

Looks good!

Gloria Baker said...

Love asparagus soup !

Lowcarb team member said...

Bob, Jo, Jemma, Jenny, Debbie, Eileen, Sandra, Lisa, Carolyn (Draffin Bears), Dina (Snowbird), Denise, Sage, Gloria

Many thanks to you all for your comments.
Asparagus soup is so tasty and nutritious, and although the original image showed some crusty bread, Eddie and I would enjoy the soup without. Bread raises blood sugar levels, and when you are a diabetic, as Eddie is, we eat soup without ...
Having said that there are some lower carb breads available and indeed some great recipe ideas around which use flax-seed and many diabetics choose to use these.
As I've said before ... the choice, dear reader, is always yours.

Once again many thanks for your comments, they are always lovely to receive, read and share.

All the best Jan