Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Asparagus season

Our first asparagus is upon us.  This is one of our annual rites of spring, seeing the asparagus poke up from the ground next to the other early garden regulars like rhubarb, dandelions greens, chives and sorrel.  We've been eating our fill of asparagus, delicious and simple when steamed and sprinkled with a little sea salt and oil, but soup is one of our favourite ways to prepare it.  Here is our recipe, easily adjusted based on what vegetables you have at hand.  As you can see, our hens love to come around when we are harvesting the asparagus, as any digging in the soil puts them into a frenzy!

Spring Asparagus & Nettle Soup

1 large bunch asparagus (about 10 stalks), chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 large potato, chopped
handful of chives
handful of fresh nettle leaves (picked carefully using gloves)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
optional - carrots, mushrooms, kale, dandelion greens, etc
2 cups soup stock
2 cups milk or milk substitute
sea salt and black pepper to taste
top with yogurt or cream

1) Saute asparagus, onion, potato, chives, nettle and garlic in a large soup pot using olive oil or butter.  Add other optional vegetables is you like or have available.
2) When asparagus is tender, add 2 cups soup stock and bring to a boil.  Let simmer over medium heat until all vegetables are fully cooked. 
3) Remove from heat and puree with a submersible blender.
4) Put pot back on medium heat, add 2 cups milk and heat stirring often.  Season with salt and pepper.
5) Add additional milk or water to thin the soup to consistency you like.  Serve with a small dash of yogurt or cream.

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