'Tis the season! Asparagus will always hold a special place in my heart as far as vegetables go. I love that it is usually one of - if not the first - home grown, fresh produce I get to enjoy from my yard every year. The excitement I experience when I notice the first sign of them punching through is indescribable!
Of course, you have to still wait a bit between seeing them first pop through and having your first harvest... and that waiting can be hard! My first harvest, which is usually less than a pound, is always roasted because that's my favorite way to enjoy asparagus, but, as the season wears on, I find myself becoming a bit overwhelmed by how much of the stuff is getting harvested on a daily basis.
That's when I turn to asparagus soup. Mainly because by that point, I'm starting to get a bit weary of roasted asparagus and partly because it's, in my opinion, the best way to preserve the harvest. I make the soup and freeze it to enjoy in the middle of winter and it tastes just as fresh and perfect in December as it does when I make it!
This recipe is great because it is easy to scale depending on how much asparagus you have. Make a big pot, enjoy a nice dinner, and freeze the rest in containers or bags (I have a vacuum sealer, so that's how I do it).
Cream of Asparagus Soup
Yield: 2 servings, double/triple, etc. as needed
1 TBS butter
1 small shallot, diced
1/4 cup celery ribs, diced
2 cups chopped asparagus spears, woody ends removed
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup cream (heavy or light, depending on your mood)
salt & pepper to taste
Sauté the shallot and celery in the butter over medium-high heat. Reduce heat as needed to prevent too much browning. When the shallot and celery are beginning to soften, add the asparagus. Sauté for another 3-4 minutes.
Add the broth and bring the soup to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are very tender, about ten minutes. Remove the soup from the heat and let cool slightly before pureeing in a food processor or blender. Return the soup to the pot and place back over the heat. Add the cream and salt and pepper. Heat, stirring, until it just reaches a simmer. Remove from the heat and serve.