Last night I whipped up a batch of one of my favorite spring and summer soups: asparagus soup! It really is the quickest soup to make and it lends itself to interpretation. This time, I added some red pepper flakes, coriander, and cumin. I also added fresh parsley, cilantro, and some cutting celery we had out in the garden. Because Scott likes a little more bang for his buck, I sauteed up some cheddar and jalapeno brats I bought from the farmers market. Personally, I liked it better without the sausage, and I imagine it might be pretty tasty as a cold soup. We shall see tonight…
1 1/2 – 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1” pieces (keep tips in tact)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4-5 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (add more if you please)
2-3 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream (I prefer crème fraîche)
juice of one medium lemon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
fresh ground pepper
handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
After cutting up asparagus, reserve about 1/2 cup of the tips. Add olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter to dutch oven or large soup pot, heat over medium. Add onion and sautee for a few minutes until soft and translucent. Season with a little salt and pepper.
Add asparagus to pot, remembering to reserve the 1/2 cup of tips. Allow asparagus and onion to cook together about 5 minutes. Season with a little more salt and pepper. Add the chicken stock and simmer, covered, until asparagus is very tender, about 15-20 minutes.
Blanch reserved asparagus tips in a little boiling, salted water until just tender, 3-4 minutes.
Using a blender (in batches) or an immersion blender, purée soup until smooth. When all soup is puréed, return to original soup pot. Stir in the crème fraîche and season with a little more salt and pepper. Bring soup to a boil and whisk in remaining tablespoon butter. Return soup to low heat, stir in lemon juice. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. You can also add more stock to your desired consistency. Garnish with asparagus tips and chopped cilantro.
I realize I didn’t add the sausage to the recipe and here’s why: I prefer the soup without it. Scott likes the sausage in the soup. I’m leaving it up to you. Add sausage if you want, but I like the soup just the way it is.