Cream of Asparagus Soup
One of my favorite things about spring is local asparagus season. I didn’t like the vegetable much as a kid but it grew on me as I grew older. During my youth, it was a food consumed in season and we got our fill of it when new spring greens were popping out of the earth. The list of asparagus health benefits is extensive, but briefly, nature makes it available at this time of year because our bodies need the detoxification it provides; a natural spring detox. Asparagus holds virtually no calories and it’s loaded with phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. It is the best source of glutathione, a substance that binds to fat-soluble toxins in the human body allowing them to be excreted through the urine. This may be why our urine has a peculiar odor after eating asparagus. Asparagus is a natural ‘medicine’ for well-being and there have been reports of it curing cancer from daily consumption over a long period of time. Too good to be true? Maybe, but why not make food our medicine and most of all, preventive care? Although—medicinal foods have to taste good to eat them.
To get my kids to eat asparagus as little people, I found that as long as it didn’t look like asparagus and was served as a smooth creamy soup, it disappeared. Boiling asparagus in a small amount of water and pureeing it provides a base that lends itself to many variations.
–2 bunches of asparagus, about 2 pounds
–Rinse under water, remove tough bottom and chop just the spear top into ½ to 1 cm pieces, put into a small pot.
–Barely cover the asparagus tops with water and simmer until tender, 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
–Coarsely chop the remaining stalks and simmer in 2 cups of water.
–When tender, puree asparagus and cooking water together in a blender until smooth and creamy.
–Add 2 cups of whole milk and a scant tablespoon of white flour; whirl a moment until blended in.
–Return to pot; add asparagus tops and sea salt to taste. Heat through and stir until the soup thickens. If you want a plain cream soup, sometimes better for little people, omit using the tops separately. If you desire a richer soup add a little heavy cream.
–Drizzle with kefir to add digestive benefits and finely chopped fresh chives for eye appeal.
–Start with the first five steps of the above procedure adding a medium chopped onion to the asparagus to simmer in the cooking water.
–Substitute the milk with 6 ounces of silken tofu; add a tablespoon of olive oil for a richer flavor if desired and sea salt to taste. Puree again until tofu is blended smooth into the asparagus.
–Return to pot, add the tops and heat through before serving. Adjust seasonings to your taste.
Almond milk, chicken or beef broth in place of cow’s milk, create other tasty variations.