I love asparagus season. Asparagus season is springtime. It’s the time of year when the snow is all melted and you wear a coat when you leave the house in the morning only to wish you’d just worn a jacket by mid-afternoon. I always imagine the tender tips of the asparagus stalks starting to pierce the ground into the very last bits of snow piled up on a garden plot somewhere. Lovely image, isn’t it?
Well, that little fantasy actually translates into me choosing a bundle of asparagus with the slimmest stalks from the little bin at Whole Foods. Real life is so much less exciting than my fantasies.
I moved a couch last Sunday. I was tired and achy by the time 8pm rolled around, but I stayed committed. At 8pm I was in the kitchen doing what I do best on a Sunday evening: cooking something for weekday lunches.
See, things have been very very busy in my world lately. I moved that couch because I moved my entire life. Across the city. I realize that people move across the country every single day, but in a place like Chicago, going from the Edgewater neighborhood to the Hyde Park neighborhood can really feel like moving to a new country. A little comfort was in order. Hence, asparagus soup.
This is a very very simple soup for days (or nights) when you want something delicious but just can’t be bothered with lots of complicated cooking. It’s pretty perfect after a day of furniture moving. All you need do is chop a few stalks of asparagus, slice up some scallion, sautée them in butter, drown them in chicken stock, blend well and add some cream. Poof! Asparagus soup.
Cream soups get kind of a bad wrap these days. Cream soups in restaurants are frequently thick, starchy affairs full of fat and calories and god-knows-what. This soup is nothing like that. If you blend it well enough, it’s a silky smooth and creamy delight that actually manages to remain reasonably within your dietary standards. Now that’s a soup we can all get behind.
So this soup is quick and easy and reasonably dietetic… what’s the catch you ask? Well, the blender, I suppose, is the catch. I don’t usually recommend putting hot soups into a blender – I usually just use my stick blender to prevent any burns or dribbles of scalding-hot soup – but in this case we’re using asparagus, which is a very sinewy vegetable.
This is a really good time to break out your full blender to get the best texture out of this soup. A Vitamix is ideal. Just blend the soup before you add the cream and then reheat gently while adding the cream… and enjoy!
- 2 pounds asparagus stalks, trimmed and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 large scallions, sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 6-8 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (or more to taste)
- * full-size blender - not an immersion blender
- In a large stock pot or dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add scallions and chopped asparagus. Add salt and pepper. Cook for approximately 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, or until vegetables are cooked and softened, but not mushy. Add stock.
- Cook for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are fully cooked through. Transfer the soup to a blender and blend on high speed for 10 minutes or so, until the soup is smooth and a bright green color. Return the blended soup to the pot and, heating gently over low flame, stir in the heavy cream.
- Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!